JAKKS Pacific Founder Dies

JAKKS Pacific founder, Jack Friedman, died on Monday, May 3, after being hospitalized for several weeks. Friedman was 70.

JAKKS’ CEO Stephen Berman said, “Jack was a legendary toymaker and a real titan in our industry. He dedicated his talents to JAKKS Pacific for 15 years, and he will be sorely missed. On behalf of all JAKKS employees, we send our sincere condolences to his wife Karen and his children for their loss.”

Friedman founded JAKKS Pacific in January 1995, and he served as the company’s chairman and CEO through March 31, 2010. He retired from his regular duties at the company to spend more time with his family.

Under his leadership, JAKKS has grown into a Top 5 U.S. publicly traded diversified toy company. Before founding JAKKS, Friedman led LJN Toys until its sale to MCA in 1985. After LJN, he went on to found THQ, Inc. in 1989 and led it until 1995.

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 more than $40 million worth of toys and school supplies to children around the world.

Image Credit: CNN.com

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