Tag Archives: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Jew of the Week: Bob Iger

The Man Behind “America’s Most Admired Company”

Bob Iger (Photo Credit: Angela George)

Robert Allen Iger (b. 1951) was born in New York City and raised on Long Island. He studied television and radio at Ithaca College (with the dream of becoming a news anchor) and there had his first media job on the college television station. After several months working as a casual weatherman, and struggling to find a reporting job, Iger joined ABC as a “studio supervisor” helping out on the set of soap operas and game shows. A few years later he joined the production team at ABC Sports, a position he held for nearly a decade. From there, he became a VP of ABC Sports, and a few years later a VP of ABC. In 1992, he became the company’s president, having incredibly worked his way up from an entry-level position, with just a bachelor’s degree in hand. Iger went on to launch some of ABC’s most popular television shows, including Home ImprovementAmerica’s Funniest Home Videos, and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?Meanwhile, because of his tremendous success and famous foresight, he was one of only a few executives to survive the buyout of ABC, first by Capital Cities Broadcasting, and then again by The Walt Disney Company. In 1999, Iger was made president of Walt Disney International. By 2005, he took over as CEO as well, and was put in charge of Disney’s day-to-day operations, vowing to fix the struggling company. Soon, Iger engineered Disney’s takeover of Pixar, and then its acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. To the latter he gave the necessary boost to bring out the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”, now the highest-grossing film franchise of all time. Iger had a vision to do something similar with Star Wars, and in 2012 acquired Lucasfilm. Star Wars has since become the second highest-grossing film franchise of all time. Iger has expanded Disney in other ways, too, including a new $5.5 billion Disney Resort in Shanghai. All in all, he increased Disney’s value from $48 billion to some $170 billion, and hired over 18,000 people during his tenure, earning the company multiple accolades including “America’s Most Admired Company” (Fortune Magazine), the “World’s Most Reputable Company” (Forbes), and the “Best Place to Launch a Career” (BusinessWeek). Iger, meanwhile, has been called the “Best CEO”, won multiple “CEO of the Year” awards, as well as a “Corporate Humanitarian Award” and “Equal Opportunity Award”. He is ranked among the 25 most powerful people in business. Iger is also a generous philanthropist, and has been given the Ambassador for Humanity Award for his efforts.

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Words of the Week

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.
– Dr. Robert Jastrow, renowned astrophysicist

Jew of the Week: Scarlett Johansson

The Most Successful Actress of All Time

JohanssonScarlett Ingrid Johansson (b. 1984) The daughter of a Danish architect father and a Jewish producer mother from the Bronx, she was named ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ in 2006. Actor, model, singer, a Global Ambassador for Oxfam and a critic of the media’s obsession with body image. Her most notable film role was alongside fellow Jewish actress Natalie Portman in The Other Boleyn Girl, and most recently in Iron Man 2, alongside fellow (half) Jewish actor Robert Downey Jr.

UPDATE [2018]: Since first writing about Scarlett Johansson nearly a decade ago (she was one of the very first Jews of the Week!), her fame and success has grown tremendously. She has become one of Hollywood’s highest-paid stars, and in 2017 officially became the highest-grossing actress of all time, with her movies having earned over $3.6 billion. Some of that is owed to her popular role as the Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Johansson is also an active and generous philanthropist, and a proud supporter of Israel. Among the many organizations she supports are Stand Up to Cancer, Too Many Women, Oxfam, and USA Harvest. In 2012, she was honoured with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

Words of the Week

Life and death are in the hands of the tongue.
– King Solomon (Proverbs 18:21)

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.