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 Aaron Russo

Aaron Russo

Birth
Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Death 24 Aug 2007 (aged 64)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 21165542 · View Source
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Producer, Director, Writer. Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, producer Aaron Russo began promoting rock and roll shows at local theaters while still a high school student. He then worked for his family's undergarment business, where in 1963 he designed the first ladies' bikini under wear. Five years later the twenty-four-year-old entrepreneur opened his own nightclub in Chicago called the Kinetic Playground which became a driving force in the music business, where Aaron helped create the careers of many legendary performers, such as Led Zeppelin, whom he brought to America for the first time. He also promoted some of the Sixties' most successful rock acts, including The Who, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. In 1972, Russo began his seven-year partnership with Bette Midler, who became a superstar during his management of her career. In 1975 he produced the Tony award-winning Clams on the Half-Shell Revue, which starred Bette Midler and Lionel Hampton. At the time it was the most successful ten-week Broadway revue in history, grossing more than $1.8 million. While serving as Midler's manager, Russo created and managed the Manhattan Transfer. Later his roster would include such personalities as David Keith, Frederic Forrest, Susan Sarandon and other notable clients. When Russo turned to producing feature films, his production of The Rose, introduced Bette Midler to motion picture audiences. Midler received an Academy Award nomination as best actress. "The Rose" is considered by many to be the classic rock 'n' roll film. Russo also produced Trading Places, starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, which has become a Christmas classic, and Teachers, starring Nick Nolte, Morgan Freeman, and Ralph Macchio. Over the past years, Russo has received numerous awards for his achievements. They include a Grammy, a Tony, an Emmy for producing the best television special of the year "OL' Red Hair is Back," starring Dustin Hoffman and Bette Midler, plus many gold and platinum records. His films have been nominated for six Academy Awards, as well as seven Golden Globes. His films have won three Golden Globes, as well as the Image Award. Russo's recent documentary America: Freedom to Fascism, an exposé of the Internal Revenue Service. Russo became involved in politics in the early 1990s when he produced and starred in a video entitled Mad As Hell in which he criticized NAFTA, The War on Drugs, the concept of a National Identity Card, and government regulation of alternative medicine. Russo ran in the Republican primary for governor of Nevada in 1998, placing second with 26% of the vote. He then endorsed the Democratic candidate, Las Vegas mayor Jan Laverty Jones, who lost to Republican Kenny Guinn. Russo subsequently planned to run for governor in 2002 as an independent or a Libertarian, but he was temporarily sidelined by cancer. In January 2004, he declared his candidacy for the President of the United States as an independent, then decided to run for the Libertarian Party's nomination. While some considered Russo's style crude and even insulting, others argued his media experience would enable him to pose a serious threat to incumbent President George W. Bush, pulling enough votes from otherwise likely Bush voters to affect the outcome in battleground states, in the same way that Ralph Nader was considered to be in relation to Democrat John Kerry. At the Libertarian National Convention in May 2004, Russo received 258 votes, as opposed to 256 for Michael Badnarik and 246 for Gary Nolan, a majority being required to receive the presidential nomination. Russo went on to be defeated on the third and final ballot by nominee Badnarik by a vote of 423-344. On January 14, 2007, Russo announced his full support for U.S. Congressman Ron Paul's 2008 presidential bid. This support included his America: Freedom to Fascism volunteer network.

Bio courtesy of: Wikipedia


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  • Created by: CRM
  • Added: 25 Aug 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21165542
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Aaron Russo (14 Feb 1943–24 Aug 2007), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21165542, ; Maintained by CRM (contributor 1126) Unknown.