Jack Friedman, the founder and chairman of JAKKS Pacific, has died today (May 3rd) at the age of 70. He had been hospitalized for several weeks. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and those that work for the company.
Here’s a little more information about Mr. Friedman:
Jack Friedman founded JAKKS Pacific in January 1995, and he served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer through March 31, 2010. Under his leadership, JAKKS has grown into a Top 5 US publicly-traded diversified toy company. Before JAKKS, he led LJN Toys until its sale to MCA in 1985, and then went on to form THQ, Inc. in 1989 and led it until 1995. With more than 50 years of toy industry experience, Mr. Friedman launched some of the most successful toys in history, including the first movie toys for E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial; he was also a pioneer in the video game industry.
Mr. Friedman was a generous philanthropist and supporter of the Company’s JAKKS Cares™ program, which has benefited organizations such as The Toy Industry Foundation, Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, The Special Olympics, Feed the Children, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Marine Toys for Tots and more. Under the program, the Company has donated over $40 million worth of toys and school supplies to children around the world. In 2009, JAKKS Pacific was recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the “Top 20 Corporate Philanthropists in Los Angeles,” and as a “Power Player Philanthropist” by the Toy Industry Foundation.
Mr. Friedman recently retired from his regular duties at JAKKS Pacific to spend more time with his family. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Source: Toy Association