I was saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Valenti. I had the great privilege of meeting him a few years ago. (He spoke at an Entrepreneur Organization event I participated in and I got a brief moment to chat with him afterward.) I had never thought much about him other than his involvement with the MPAA prior to the night we met. However, I must admit, I came away from that evening with a sense of awe regarding Mr. Valenti. His politics are not mine, his views about protectionism and the MPAA are not mine, but I couldn’t help but be impressed by him. I don’t know what you call it, but a few people in life are blessed and/or burdened to be “there”. Call it the Forrest Gump effect. In my estimation, Jack Valenti was one of them. In the motorcade with Kennedy that fateful day, next to Johnson as he was sworn in on the plane back to Washington and countless Hollywood moments. To hear him tell those stories was amazing. He was an impressive and engaging speaker as well as being extremely personable in private. I am sorry to hear he is gone. RIP.
My friend JD Lasica captured him.