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Veteran agent Lou Weiss, WMA chairman emeritus, has announced his retirement from the agency after 70 years, effective Sunday.
Weiss was introduced to WMA in 1937 by his uncle, George Burns, a WMA client at the time. After starting in the mailroom, he was promoted to agent in the Night Club Department, which expanded into the Record Department and then into the Hotel Department.
Weiss left the agency to serve as a lieutenant with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy during World War II, but he returned and eventually was promoted to head of the Television Department in 1960, when he helped to create the television packaging model.
In 1981, he was appointed executive vp, a member of the board of directors and worldwide head of television, which led to co-chairman of the board and then his present post as chairman emeritus.
He also was a member of the board of the International Radio and Television Society and is a trustee on the board of the Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television & Radio).
“Lou’s dedication to this agency and his contributions to the entire entertainment industry have been remarkable,” WMA CEO Jim Wiatt said. “Those of us who have been lucky enough to count him as a friend and mentor wish him success and happiness as he takes a well-deserved retirement after 70 years with WMA.”
His honors include Man of the Year recognition by the Entertainment Division of the UJA Federation and a tribute by the Friars Foundation. Most recently, he was awarded the Gold Medal by the IRTS, making him the only agent ever to receive that honor. He also was the first agent to be interviewed on video for the archives of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
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