ISBN 9780773526341,Leo A Life

Leo A Life


Leo Kolber


Style Matters Inc.



Style Matters Inc.

Publication Year 2003

ISBN 9780773526341

ISBN-10 077352634X

Hard Back

Number of Pages 314 Pages
Language (English)

Personal Memoirs

My relationship with Sam Bronfman, and his sons Edgar and Charles, has sometimes been compared to that of Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen, the consigliere to the Corleone family in "The Godfather", in the sense that I was a surrogate son as well as an adviser to the father, and a friend as well as a counsellor to the sons. There's a certain amount of truth to that, in that I was brought into the family as an outsider, and became privy to its secrets'. Thus begins Leo Kolber's account, written with L. Ian MacDonald, of his remarkable relationship with the Bronfman dynasty, from the founding father to his sons, and eventually to the dissolution of a great business empire. For thirty years, Leo Kolber was chairman of Cemp Investments, the Bronfman family trust, and Cadillac Fairview Corporation, one of the largest real estate firms in North America.A close adviser to the legendary Sam Bronfman, and a close friend of his sons Charles and Edgar, Kolber was the family's consigliere on decades of deals, including the buying of MGM in the 1960s, which foretold the disaster that later overtook the third generation of Bronfmans after Edgar Bronfman, Jr bought sold Seagram's 25 per cent interest in DuPont to buy MCA-Universal Studios in 1995, a deal Kolber strongly opposed. With the Vivendi merger of 2000, the empire built by Mr Sam and his sons, with Leo Kolber's help, was dismantled. 'Buying DuPont was the deal of the century', Kolber writes, 'selling it was the dumbest deal of the century'. As for the Vivendi merger and the break-up of Seagram, he writes that no one would have dared propose it to Mr Sam, 'except perhaps over his dead body'. Named to the Senate by Pierre Trudeau, Kolber has served there for twenty years, including the last five as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.Throughout this period, he was a senior bagman for the Liberal Party of Canada. Formerly chairman of Claridge Inc., Charles Bronfman's investment holding company, Kolber also served for more than twenty-five years as a director of Seagram and the Toronto-Dominion Bank, whose famous headquarters, the six-tower TD Centre, was built by his Fairview Corporation in the 1960s. Formerly chairman of Cineplex Odeon Theatres, he was also as a longtime director of DuPont and MGM, among other companies in which the Bronfmans once held an important interest. Now Kolber is publishing this memoir of a life that he calls 'a tremendous ride'. With business tycoons, from Sam Bronfman and Charles Bronfman to Kirk Kerkorian. With famous politicians, from Pierre Trudeau to Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien. With Hollywood moguls and nights out with the stars, from Danny Kaye and Cary Grant to Frank Sinatra.

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