Howard West, a producer and co-manager of Jerry Seinfeld with his longtime partner George Shapiro, has died. He was 84.

West died Dec. 3 at UCLA Medical Center following a massive stroke. He was a partner in management firm Shapiro/West and Associates with his friend from childhood in the Bronx.

West and Shapiro were key players in the launch of the NBC comedy series “Seinfeld,” which ran from 1989 to 1998, and served as exec producers on the show that remains a monster hit in syndication. In addition to Seinfeld, the duo also managed such comedy legends as Andy Kaufman.

More recently, Shapiro and West were involved in Seinfeld setting up his Crackle series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”


“Howard was doing what he loved til the end,” Seinfeld said. “There’s nothing better.”

West and Shapiro became friends at the age of 8 after meeting on the playground in elementary school.

“I invited him to join me and my friends to play basketball, stickball, curb ball and touch football,” Shapiro said. “It was love at first sight, and we became best friends since that day.”

West graduated from Long Island University and served in the Army. He reunited with Shapiro when the two worked in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency. The two rose through the ranks together before launching their own firm in the early 1970s.

West’s clients at William Morris included Neil Diamond, Glen Campbell, Anne Murray, Ruth Buzzi, Paul Lynde, Jerry Reed and producer Greg Garrison. At WMA West television packaging, putting together such shows as “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” and “The Bobby Darin Show.”

At Shapiro/West, the pair repped a mix of performers, writers and producers including Reiner, Peter Bonerz, Gabe Kaplan, Robert Wuhl, Marty Feldman, Bill Persky and Sam Denoff, Austin and Irma Kalish, Steve Gordon and Bill Lawrence.

Shapiro and West’s unusually strong bond with their old neighborhood and childhood friends was documented in the 2003 HBO documentary “The Bronx Boys,” narrated by Carl Reiner. A sequel, “The Bronx Boys Still Playing at 80,” aired on PBS in 2013.

West had a brief role in “Man on the Moon,” the 1999 biopic of Kaufman starring Jim Carrey. He played a hard-nosed TV executive. “He was a natural for the role,” Shapiro said.

West is survived by his wife of 54 years, Marlene; a daughter, Dayna; son, Todd; and a granddaughter.