Alan L. Gleitsman

Founder of TV distributor Alan Enterprises, philanthropist

Alan L. Gleitsman, who founded TV distributor Alan Enterprises before turning to philanthropy, died May 19 of a heart attack in France. He was 76.

 A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 31 at Leo Baeck Temple, 1300 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles.

Born in Great Neck, Long Island, he graduated from Cornell U. and served in the Air Force. After starting his career in the textile industry, he took a job with New York-based TV distributor Sterling Television. He opened Sterling’s Hollywood office; when Sterling merged with the Walter Reade Organization, Gleitsman was promoted to VP for television.

He then launched his own television program distribution company, Alan Enterprises. His initial content included foreign films dubbed for TV, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello and “The Mighty Hercules.” Alan Enterprises eventually acquired the television library of the Walter Reade Organization, including long-lived syndication property “Felix the Cat.”

In 1986, he sold Alan Enterprises to Color Systems Technology.

Moving to philanthropic endeavors, he created the Gleitsman Foundation, the Gleitsman Award For People Who Make a Difference and the International Activist Award.

Gleitsman also aided organizations devoted to education, civil liberties, human rights and peace, including the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, and established scholarships at UCLA and his alma maters Cornell University and Great Neck High School.

 Gleitsman is survived by his partner Cheri Rosche, a daughter, a son, a sister, and six grandchildren.

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