Sumner Redstone Fast Facts

Here is a look at the life of Sumner Redstone, owner of National Amusements, Inc., the parent company of Viacom, Inc., and CBS Corp.

Birth date:
May 27, 1923

Birth place: Boston, Massachusetts

Birth name: Sumner Murray Rothstein

Father: Michael Rothstein, businessman

Mother: Belle (Ostrovsky) Redstone

Marriages: Paula (Fortunato) Redstone (April 6, 2003-January 2009, divorced); Phyllis (Raphael) Redstone (July 6, 1947-July 26, 2002, divorced)

Children: with Phyllis Redstone: Shari Ellin (April 14, 1954); Brent (1950)

Education: Harvard University, B.A., 1944; Harvard University, LL.B, 1947

Military service: U.S. Army, 1943-1945, First Lieutenant

Other Facts:
His father changed the family name from Rothstein to Redstone in 1940.

While a student at Harvard, Redstone is recruited for a U.S. Army intelligence unit that works on cracking Japanese military codes. He receives two military commendations for his service.

One of his first jobs out of law school is serving as special assistant to U.S. Attorney General Tom Clark.

Coined the term multiplexes.

He donates to causes fighting poverty and disease through the Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation.

- Joins the family business, Northeast Theater Corporation, later renamed National Amusements, a theater chain.

1967 - Becomes Chief Executive Officer of National Amusements, Inc.

March 29, 1979 - Suffers third-degree burns over 40% of his body in a hotel fire in Boston. He survived the fire by climbing out a window on to a ledge and hanging on until firefighters rescue him.

1987 - Redstone takes over Viacom Pictures and becomes chairman of the board.

February 15, 1994 - Redstone wins in a bidding war with QVC Network for Paramount Communications, parent company of Paramount Studios.

January 17, 1996 - Becomes Chief Executive Officer of Viacom, Incorporated.

May 2000 - Viacom purchases CBS Corporation, the parent company of CBS, in the the largest media merger of the time, valued at $36 billion.

2001 - Publishes "A Passion to Win," with Peter Knobler.

January 2006 - CBS Corporation and Viacom, Incorporated, are divided into separate companies. Sumner becomes chairman of the board for both companies. Separate chief executive officers are appointed for the companies.

February 2006 - His son, Brent, sues Redstone, accusing him of favoring daughter Shari in business matters. Redstone eventually buys out Brent's stake in National Amusements, Inc. as part of a settlement.

August 22, 2006 - Announces that Paramount will end its relationship with Tom Cruise due to the actor's off-screen behavior.

March 30, 2012 - Receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

September 2012 - Gives Boston University $18 million for the expansion of the law school.

May 2014 - Endows a professorship in narrative studies with $2.5 million at Boston University's College of Communication.

2014 - Is number 71 on the Forbes 400 Richest People in America list and number 224 on Forbes World's Richest People list.