Izzy Asper

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Israel Harold "Izzy" Asper PC , OC , OM (born August 11, 1932 in Minnedosa ; died October 7, 2003 in Winnipeg ) was a Canadian lawyer, media entrepreneur, and politician with the Manitobas Liberal Party .

Origin and youth

Asper's parents were Jews who immigrated from Ukraine . His mother Cecilia, daughter of a rabbi and musician, had settled in Winnipeg in 1919, his father Leon, who was also a musician, five years later. In 1924 she moved on to the small town Minnedosa where Leon 1929 movie The Lyric Theater and Opera House acquired. The couple had three children, in addition to Izzy, who was born in 1932, also daughters Aubrey and Hettie. In 1936 the father went bankrupt, but remained true to his passion: In 1941 the family moved to Neepawa , where Leon had bought the Roxy . Over the years the business should expand, more cinemas were added, and ultimately a regional group with a total of eight movie theaters was created. In 1946 the family finally settled in Winnipeg, where Izzy graduated from Kelvin High School. The family was considered kind, but not particularly religious. Izzy later described himself in a letter as "quite worldly, to my regret".

Lawyer and politician

Asper studied law at the University of Manitoba and earned degrees as Bachelor of Laws in 1957 and post-graduate as Master of Laws in 1964. Specialized in tax law he settled down in 1957 in Winnipeg as a lawyer. He was soon recognized as a recognized expert in his specialty and had a regular column on the subject between 1966 and 1977 in the daily newspaper The Globe and Mail .

In the early 1970s, Asper turned increasingly to politics, in October 1970 he was elected chairman of the Liberal Party of Manitoba. In a by -election in the Wolseley constituency, made necessary by the death of Leonard Claydon , he successfully applied for a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in June 1972 . In the next regular election in June 1973 he was able to defend it, but the other results of his party were sobering: compared to the election four years earlier, it lost around five percentage points, but was able to win five of 57 seats. In early 1975 he gave up the party chairmanship and shortly afterwards his mandate and withdrew from active politics. His most important concern, the strengthening of the relationship with and the support of Israel , he should pursue throughout his life.

Media entrepreneur

In 1973, Asper founded Canwest Capital Corporation as a holding company , under whose roof he applied for a license to operate a private television station in Winnipeg. After he was granted this, he bought the private broadcaster KCND in Pembina , North Dakota , dismantled the studio and technical equipment and moved them to Winnipeg. In 1975 Aspers CKND started operations in a former Safeway branch .

Former CanWest headquarters in Winnipeg

From these small beginnings, over the years a global media group based in Winnipeg developed. First, CanWest took over the Global Television Network in several steps and subsequently expanded its broadcasting stations across Canada. The decisive factor for the financial success of the group was the fact that the individual channels were licensed separately, so the overall system was not classified as a network . This enabled a number of regulatory requirements on the part of the licensing authorities to be circumvented. It turned out to be highly profitable that the company relied heavily on television series and shows acquired cheaply in the USA . In 1991 CanWest went public. Further (partial) acquisitions of companies followed, including Western International Communications , Fireworks Entertainment and Alliance Films , as well as the acquisition of a group of newspapers in 2000, which also included the National Post . In its heyday, Aspers CanWest had subsidiaries and holdings in the USA, Chile , Ireland , Australia , New Zealand and Turkey, among others .

In 1997 Asper handed over the post of Chief Executive Officer to his son Leonard, but remained associated with the company as Chairman of the Board of Directors and temporarily also as a member of the Management Board. The decline of its empire, the 2009 bankruptcy protection , was forced to sell by 2010 its assets applied for and was finally dissolved in 2013, he should not experience more: after being with his family Yom Kippur had celebrated suffered it the following morning of October 7 2003 Heart attack from the consequences of which he died that same morning at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg at the age of 71. He left behind his wife Ruth Miriam, called Babs, to whom he had been married since 1956, the sons David and Leonard and daughter Gail.

Social Commitment

The Museum of Human Rights

Asper was considered a generous patron , he supported, among other things, hospitals and the university in his hometown of Winnipeg. Founded by him in 1983 Foundation Asper Foundation promotes social and cultural projects both in Manitoba and in Israel. The Canadian Museum of Human Rights is a lasting legacy, the establishment of which he initiated and the completion of which was promoted and co-financed by his foundation, led by daughter Gail, after his death.

His work has been recognized many times, including his admission to the Privy Council in 1975, the award of the Order Officer of Order of Canada in 1995 and Order of Manitoba in 2000, the B'nai B'rith International Award of Merit 1993 and several honorary doctorates . In his honor, the University of Manitoba renamed its business administration faculty as Asper School of Business in 2000 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Gordon Sinclair Jr .: Fathers and Sons. Winnipeg Free Press , June 19, 2010, accessed June 19, 2016
  2. MLA Biographies - Deceased Parliamentary Key Data on Deceased MPs on the Manitoba Government website, accessed June 19, 2016
  3. ^ Paul W. Taylor: Third Service, Third Network: The CanWest Global System. Canadian Journal of Communications, Vol. 18, No. 4 (1993), accessed June 19, 2016 (English)
  4. Izzy Asper dead at 71 CBC News, October 7, 2003, accessed June 19, 2016 (English)
  5. ^ Asper School Facts. Information about the Asper School of Business on the University of Manitoba website, accessed June 19, 2016