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April 30, 2007

Jack Valenti (September 5, 1921 - April 26, 2007)

See this New York Times obit, which is fair and pretty comprehensive.

To me, Jack Valenti was not just the Motion Picture Association of America CEO, Hollywood's "DC guy" or the fellow who came up with the movie ratings system. Part of our neighborhhood, he was the elegant, dapper but tough-looking little guy and ex-LBJ aide you saw walking often by himself near the southwest corner of 16th and Eye where he had his office, about two blocks north of the White House, and one block west from I had my first private practice lawyer job in Washington, D.C. in the ASAE Building. When you saw him walking around you knew that he was a "Washington somebody" whether you specifically recognized him or not: Washington royalty--but without the button-down boringness. He exuded it, but he never seemed like a self-important DC jerk. Some of us wandering around downtown DC during lunch or in the evenings after work did recognize Valenti. He was the man on the far left in the famous November 22, 1963 Air Force One picture, looking on while LBJ was being sworn in.

Posted by JD Hull at April 30, 2007 10:07 PM


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