Speed Reads

Rest in peace

Billionaire media mogul Sumner Redstone dies at 97

Billionaire media mogul Sumner Redstone died Tuesday, his family's holding company, National Amusements, announced in a statement Wednesday. He was 97.

Redstone built a media empire from National Amusements, a chain of drive-in theaters. Over several decades, he accrued holdings that included CBS, Paramount Pictures, Simon & Schuster, Blockbuster, and Viacom. At their peak, The New York Times reports, the businesses he controlled were worth more than $80 billion.

The Wall Street Journal described Redstone as a "mercurial" figure who was known for feuding both with his top executives and his family members, earning him the nickname "Grumpy" from his own grandchildren. Barry Reardon, who oversaw distribution for the rival Warner Brothers studio, said in 1994 that being the "relentless" Redstone's competitor "is a fate worse than death." Read more at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.