Billionaire donor to the University and long-time media mogul Sumner Redstone died Tuesday, CNBC reported. He was 97.
Redstone and Michael Milken donated $80 million to the Milken Institute School of Public Health in 2014, leading officials to name the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness on campus after him. Redstone served as the board chairman of both the CBS and Viacom corporations and was a survivor of prostate cancer.
Redstone served as the board chairman of ViacomCBS for 30 years after his holding company National Amusements Inc. acquired a controlling stake in the company in 1987, according to a statement released by ViacomCBS Wednesday. ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said in the statement that the company will remember Redstone for his passion, curiosity and dedication to the company.
“Sumner Redstone was a brilliant visionary, operator and dealmaker who single-handedly transformed a family-owned drive-in theater company into a global media portfolio,” Bakish said in the statement. “He was a force of nature and fierce competitor who leaves behind a profound legacy in both business and philanthropy.”
Redstone earned an honorary degree from the University in 2006 and is the grandfather of an alumnus, The Washington Post reported in 2014.
Redstone was an avid competitor and often boasted that he would never die, CNBC reported.
University President Thomas LeBlanc said Redstone leaves an “indelible and far-reaching legacy” that will drive future progress in public health at GW and around the world.
“We will remain forever grateful to Mr. Redstone for his support of our university and his commitment to improving the lives of others,” he said in a release. “Our thoughts are with the Redstone family during this difficult time.”