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Gerald M. Levin

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Gerald Levin
Born
Gerald Levin

(1939-05-06) May 6, 1939 (age 83)
NationalityAmerican
Spouse(s)Carol Needleman (divorced)
Barbara Riley (divorced)
Laurie Ann Perlman Rapke (divorced)
Children5

Gerald M. "Jerry" Levin (born May 6, 1939) is an American mass-media businessman. Levin was involved in brokering the merger between AOL and Time Warner in 2000, at the height of the dot-com bubble, a merger which was ultimately disadvantageous to Time Warner and described as "the biggest train wreck in the history of corporate America."[1]

Early life and education

Levin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[2] to a Jewish family of Russian and Romanian origins.[3][4][5] His father was a "butter-and-eggs man" and his mother was a piano teacher.[2] He lived as a child in the suburbs of Philadelphia, in Upper Darby and then Overbrook Hills. After graduating second in his class at Lower Merion High School, where he was named to the Honor Society, he attended Haverford College.[6] He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1963.

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American Jews

American Jews

American Jews or Jewish Americans are American citizens who are Jewish, whether by culture, ethnicity, nationality, or religion. Today the Jewish community in the United States consists primarily of Ashkenazi Jews, who descend from diaspora Jewish populations of Central and Eastern Europe and comprise about 90–95% of the American Jewish population.

Overbrook, Philadelphia

Overbrook, Philadelphia

Overbrook is a neighborhood northwest of West Philadelphia, Philadelphia, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The area's housing ranges from large, old homes to rowhouses to 3- and 4-story apartment buildings.

Lower Merion High School

Lower Merion High School

Lower Merion High School is a public high school in Ardmore, a community in Philadelphia's Main Line suburbs. It is one of two high schools in the Lower Merion School District; the other one is Harriton High School. Lower Merion serves both Lower Merion Township and the Borough of Narberth. In 2020 Lower Merion ranked number 6 among College Prep Public High Schools in Pennsylvania by Niche.com and U.S. News & World Report ranked Harriton and Lower Merion 13th and 14th in the state respectively. In 2005 Lower Merion was ranked among the top sixty public or private U.S. high schools by The Wall Street Journal. While the school mascot is a bulldog, its athletics teams are known as the "Aces”, honoring the U.S. Air Force “Flying Aces” established by Lower Merion alum Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold, an American general officer holding the ranks of General of the Army and General of the Air Force.

Haverford College

Haverford College

Haverford College is a private liberal arts college in Haverford, Pennsylvania. It was founded as a men's college in 1833 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), began accepting non-Quakers in 1849, and became coeducational in 1980.

University of Pennsylvania Law School

University of Pennsylvania Law School

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is the law school of the University of Pennsylvania, a private research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is among the most selective and oldest law schools in the United States, and it is currently ranked sixth overall by U.S. News & World Report. It offers the degrees of Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), Master of Comparative Laws (LL.C.M.), Master in Law (M.L.), and Doctor of the Science of Law (S.J.D.).

Career and later life

In 2000, he claimed that "media will become the dominant industry in the 21st century, and the global media will become even stronger than the government." Levin spent most of his career with Time Inc. (later Time Warner, then AOL Time Warner), starting there in 1972 as a programming executive for the new Home Box Office (HBO) and eventually becoming CEO of the corporation after the ouster of his nemesis Nicholas J. Nicholas Jr. Interviewed by the journalist Nina Munk, Levin would later admit: "It is absolutely true that I plotted the departure of Nick Nicholas after working with him for 20 years. And I don't have any justification for it other than I am a strange person."[7] Levin is best known for orchestrating with Steve Case the disastrous merger between AOL and Time Warner in 2000, at the height of the dot-com bubble, which destroyed $200 billion in shareholder value as the bubble collapsed. Following the deal, CNBC named him as one of the "Worst American CEOs of All Time."[8] According to The New York Times, the merger is used by business schools as a case study of "the worst [deal] in history."[9] In her book about the deal, Munk writes, "The disastrous merger...epitomizes the culture of corporate America and Wall Street in the late 1990s. It records the climate in executive suites, where as long as a company's stock price kept going up and up, a CEO was all-powerful, like a king with divine rights."[10]


Whereas Levin had once been "perhaps the most powerful media executive in the world,"[11], he largely disappeared from public view after the collapse of AOL Time Warner. In 2007, he was reported by New York (magazine)[12] to be "presiding director of Moonview Sanctuary, a “holistic healing institute” with a full-time staff of fewer than twenty people" founded by his new wife, Laurie Ann Perlman, a clinical psychologist. In 2013, he was named chairman of a start-up called Elation Media, raising $150,000 of seed funding, according to Crowdfund Insider, to launch a "live and on-demand service" with programming topics that include "alternative medicine, world peace, visionary art, personal growth and the environment."[13] As of July 2022, Elation TV does not appear to have launched.

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Time Inc.

Time Inc.

Time Inc. was an American worldwide mass media corporation founded on November 28, 1922, by Henry Luce and Briton Hadden and based in New York City. It owned and published over 100 magazine brands, including its namesake Time, Sports Illustrated, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Fortune, People, InStyle, Life, Golf Magazine, Southern Living, Essence, Real Simple, and Entertainment Weekly. It also had subsidiaries which it co-operated with the UK magazine house Time Inc. UK, whose major titles include What's on TV, NME, Country Life, and Wallpaper. Time Inc. also co-operated over 60 websites and digital-only titles including MyRecipes, Extra Crispy, TheSnug, HelloGiggles, and MIMI.

Nina Munk

Nina Munk

Nina Munk is a Canadian-American journalist and non-fiction author. She is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, and the author or co-author of four books, including The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty and Fools Rush In: Jerry Levin, Steve Case, and the Unmaking of Time Warner. As well, she is the editor of the critical English translation of How It Happened: Documenting the Tragedy of Hungarian Jewry, an influential account of the Holocaust in Hungary written by Erno Munkacsi in 1947. According to Publishers Marketplace, Munk is working on a new book for Alfred A. Knopf titled In My Dreams, We Are Together about "her family in Hungary during the Holocaust".

Steve Case

Steve Case

Stephen McConnell Case is an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist best known as the former chief executive officer and chairman of America Online (AOL). Case joined AOL's predecessor company, Quantum Computer Services, as a marketing vice-president in 1985, became CEO of the company in 1991, and, at the height of the dot-com bubble in 2000, orchestrated with Gerald M. Levin the merger that created AOL Time Warner, described as "the biggest train wreck in the history of corporate America."

Dot-com bubble

Dot-com bubble

The dot-com bubble was a stock market bubble in the late 1990s. The period coincided with massive growth in Internet adoption, a proliferation of available venture capital, and the rapid growth of valuations in new dot-com startups.

CNBC

CNBC

CNBC is an American basic cable business news channel. It provides business news programming on weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Eastern Time, while broadcasting talk shows, investigative reports, documentaries, infomercials, reality shows, and other programs at all other times. Along with Fox Business and Bloomberg Television, it is one of the three major business news channels. It also operates a website and mobile apps, whereby users can watch the channel via streaming media, and which provide some content that is only accessible to paid subscribers. CNBC content is available on demand on smart speakers including Amazon Echo devices with Amazon Alexa, Google Home and app devices with Google Assistant, and on Apple Siri voice interfaces including iPhones. Many CNBC TV shows are available as podcasts for on-demand listening. Graphics are designed by Sweden-based Magoo 3D studios.

The New York Times

The New York Times

The New York Times is a daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2022 to comprise 740,000 paid print subscribers, and 8.6 million paid digital subscribers. It also is a producer of popular podcasts such as The Daily. Founded in 1851, it is published by The New York Times Company. The Times has won 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any newspaper, and has long been regarded as a national "newspaper of record". For print, it is ranked 18th in the world by circulation and 3rd in the United States.

New York (magazine)

New York (magazine)

New York is an American biweekly magazine concerned with life, culture, politics, and style generally, and with a particular emphasis on New York City. Founded by Milton Glaser and Clay Felker in 1968 as a competitor to The New Yorker, it was brasher and less polite, and established itself as a cradle of New Journalism. Over time, it became more national in scope, publishing many noteworthy articles on American culture by writers such as Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Nora Ephron, John Heilemann, Frank Rich, and Rebecca Traister.

Personal life

Levin has been married three times and fathered five children.[14] His first wife was Carol Needleman, whom he met at summer camp in the 1960s; they divorced in 1970.[2] In 1970, he married Barbara J. Riley;[2] they divorced in 2003.[15] His third wife was Laurie Ann Perlman,[16] a Hollywood agent turned psychologist who had been formerly married to Jack Rapke; they divorced in 2020.[17][18]

Murder of Jonathan Levin

One of his children, Jonathan Levin, a 31-year-old high school English teacher at Taft High School in the Bronx, was murdered on May 31, 1997 during a robbery by one of his former students.[19][20] The student, Corey Arthur, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to the maximum allowed term of 25 years to life in prison in November 1998, with the judge concluding that Arthur had taken sadistic pleasure in the crime and shown no remorse. A purported accomplice, Montoun Hart, was acquitted on the same charges in February 1999. While Hart had written a confession, jurors were not able to find out how it was obtained and felt it was unreliable.[21]

The murder occurred after Jonathan had mentioned in the classroom that his father was Time Warner head Gerald Levin. Prosecutors said Arthur and Hart, assuming that Jonathan was wealthy, stole Jonathan's bank card and tortured him to obtain the account's PIN, obtaining about $800 from the account.[22]

Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications in The Bronx, New York City, is named after the murdered teacher.

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Jack Rapke

Jack Rapke

Jack Rapke is an American film producer who has produced such films as the 2000 Robert Zemeckis film Cast Away.

William Howard Taft High School (New York City)

William Howard Taft High School (New York City)

William Howard Taft High School is a former New York City high school in the southwest section of the Bronx, whose building now houses small specialized high schools. The school was operated by the New York City Department of Education.

Personal identification number

Personal identification number

A personal identification number (PIN), or sometimes redundantly a PIN number or PIN code, is a numeric passcode used in the process of authenticating a user accessing a system.

Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications

Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications

Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications was a public high school located in The Bronx, New York City. It was one of six smaller specialty high schools located on the campus of the former William H. Taft High School, which was closed in 2008 and divided into separate collocated specialty schools. It closed in June 2016.

The Bronx

The Bronx

The Bronx is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Bronx County, in the state of New York. It is south of Westchester County; north and east of the New York City borough of Manhattan, across the Harlem River; and north of the New York City borough of Queens, across the East River. The Bronx has a land area of 42 square miles (109 km2) and a population of 1,472,654 in the 2020 census. If each borough were ranked as a city, the Bronx would rank as the ninth-most-populous in the U.S. Of the five boroughs, it has the fourth-largest area, fourth-highest population, and third-highest population density. It is the only borough of New York City not primarily on an island. With a population that is 54.8% Hispanic as of 2020, it is the only majority-Hispanic county in the Northeastern United States and the fourth-most-populous nationwide.

New York City

New York City

New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over 300.46 square miles (778.2 km2), New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the United States, and is more than twice as populous as second-place Los Angeles. New York City lies at the southern tip of New York State, and constitutes the geographical and demographic center of both the Northeast megalopolis and the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the United States both by population and by urban landmass. With over 20.1 million people in its metropolitan statistical area and 23.5 million in its combined statistical area as of 2020, New York is one of the world's most populous megacities, and over 58 million people live within 250 mi (400 km) of the city. New York City is a global cultural, financial, entertainment, and media center with a significant influence on commerce, health care and life sciences, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, dining, art, fashion, and sports. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy, an established safe haven for global investors, and is sometimes described as the capital of the world.

Source: "Gerald M. Levin", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_M._Levin.

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Further reading
  • Munk, Nina, Fools Rush In: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner (HarperCollins, 2004) ISBN 978-0060540340
  • Klein, Alec, Stealing Time: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Collapse of AOL Time Warner (Simon & Schuster, 2003) ISBN 0-7432-5984-X
References
  1. ^ Munk, Nina (2004). Fools Rush In: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner. HarperBusiness. ISBN 0060540346.
  2. ^ a b c d Reference for Business: "Gerald Levin - Retired chairman and chief executive officer, AOL Time Warner" retrieved March 29, 2015
  3. ^ To the End of Time: The Seduction and Conquest of a Media Empire. Simon & Schuster. 1992. Retrieved August 13, 2010. Russian-Romanian.
  4. ^ David Plotz (January 14, 2000). "Time Warner's Gerald Levin". Slate.
  5. ^ Cleveland Jewish News: "The 30-plus most influential Jews in America" December 27, 2001
  6. ^ Munk, Nina (2004). Fools Rush In: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner. HarperBusiness. ISBN 0060540346.
  7. ^ Munk, Nina (2004). Fools Rush In: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner. HarperBusiness. ISBN 0060540346.
  8. ^ CNBC.com
  9. ^ Arango, Tim. "How The AOL-Time Warner Merger Went So Wrong". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  10. ^ Munk, Nina (2004). Fools Rush In: Steve Case, Jerry Levin, and the Unmaking of AOL Time Warner. HarperBusiness. ISBN 0060540346.
  11. ^ Stevenson, Seth. "The Believer". The New York Mag. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  12. ^ Stevenson, Seth. "The Believer". The New York Mag. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  13. ^ Crownfund Insider: "Elation Media Reveals Kansas’ Paul Mai Backing; Announces Series A Funding Round" by Samantha Hurst June 16, 2015
  14. ^ "Gerald Levin". Heights - Jewish Business Ethics. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  15. ^ New York Times: "Private Sector; Which Kind of Merger Is Harder: The Corporate or the Marital?" by Geraldine Fabrikant January 12, 2003
  16. ^ Levin, By Laurie Ann (October 1, 2009). God, the Universe, and Where I Fit In. HCI. p. 245. ISBN 9780757314407.
  17. ^ Variety: "Levin heads for divorce" by Jill Goldsmith January 12, 2003
  18. ^ Alexandra Wolfe and Anna Jane Grossman (June 2, 2003). "Hot Flash! Trophy Wife Models Are Passé: Rudy to Jack Welch, Remarrying Geezers Get Middle-Aged Babes With Power Dowries". The Observer.
  19. ^ David Rohde (December 11, 1998). "Jurors Convict Youth in Killing Of His Teacher". The New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  20. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths LEVIN, JONATHAN". The New York Times. June 4, 1997. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  21. ^ Laura Italiano (February 12, 1999). "LEVIN-SLAY SUSPECT'S BOOZE & POT SPREE SETS HIM FREE". New York Post.
  22. ^ "Jonathan Levin is tortured and killed by his former student". History Channel. May 30, 1997.
External links
Business positions
Preceded by Time Warner CEO
1992-2002
Succeeded by

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