William Morris vet Weiss retires

Chairman spent 70 years with agency

Lou Weiss, the chairman emeritus of the William Morris Agency, has retired after 70 years with the percentery.

Weiss, one of the last vestiges of the old guard at WMA, has been a fixture at the agency since he was helped into a mailroom job by his uncle, WMA client George Burns. He started in the night club department.

While Weiss left to serve at a lieutenant with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy during WWII, he returned and became the head of the television department in 1960. He’s best remembered for becoming one of the first TV agents and helping to create the television packaging model that has long sustained WMA and other agencies.

Weiss rose to executive vice president, became a member of the board of directors, and worldwide head of television. He then became co-chairman of the WMA board and then chairman emeritus.

He has repped the likes of Barbara Walters, Carol Channing, Chevy Chase, Bill Cosby, Howard Cosell, Sammy Davis, Jr., David Frost, Larry Gelbart, Buddy Hackett, Jackie Mason, Alan King, Jack Parr and Diana Ross.

“Lou’s dedication to this agency, and his contributions to the entire industry have been remarkable,” CEO Jim Wiatt said in a statement. “Those of us who have been lucky enough to count him as a friend and mentor wish him success and happiness as he takes a well-deserved retirement after 70 years with WMA.”

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