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Longtime movie group head suffers stroke

Story Highlights

• Jack Valenti, longtime movie association head, has stroke
• Valenti led Motion Picture Assoc. of America for 38 years
• MPAA is primary movie industry lobbying group
• Valenti was also assistant to President Lyndon Johnson
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Jack Valenti, who served as president of the Motion Picture Association of America for nearly four decades, has suffered a stroke and has been taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, officials said.

Valenti, 85, suffered the stroke "recently," said a woman at the Motion Picture Association of America, which he led for 38 years.

"He is under a doctor's care; he is resting comfortably," the spokeswoman said.

A spokeswoman for Johns Hopkins Medical Center said he is a patient there. "The family doesn't want us to give out any information," said spokeswoman Beth Simpkins.

Valenti was born in Houston, Texas, educated at the University of Houston and Harvard Business School and served as a bomber pilot during World War II, for which he won a number of decorations. (Gallery: Politics and film)

In 1952, he co-founded Weekley & Valenti, an advertising agency.

Valenti's agency handled the press during the November 22, 1963, visit of President Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon Johnson to Dallas. Valenti was in the motorcade six cars behind the president's when Kennedy was assassinated.

Less than an hour later, Johnson had hired Valenti as special assistant to the president and the two men were flying to Washington aboard Air Force One.

Three years later, Valenti resigned to become president and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, which he led until 2004, when he resigned. Valenti was central to creating the MPAA rating system -- now G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17 -- as a way to rate films as appropriate for certain age groups.

Valenti is a life member of the Directors Guild of America and a member of the board of trustees of the American Film Institute.

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Jack Valenti headed the Motion Picture Association of America for 38 years.



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