Billionaire media mogul and philanthropist A. Jerrold Perenchio died May 23 at 86 after a five-month struggle with lung cancer.

Perenchio, who died at his home in Bel Air, is survived by his wife, Margaret, three children from a previous marriage as well as five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Perenchio ranked No. 15 on the Business Journal’s 2017 list of Wealthiest Angelenos with a net worth of $4.25 billion. The former Univision Communications chairman and chief executive made the majority of his fortune after the company’s $13.7 billion sale to a Haim Saban-led investment group in 2007.

Perenchio and two partners bought Univision, then a struggling Spanish-language media outlet, from Hallmark Cards Inc. for $550 million in 1992.

“Jerry founded and built Univision from the ground up,” Univision Chief Executive Randy Falco said in a statement. “He played a significant role in shaping the media and entertainment industry as we know it today, bringing incredible foresight, compassion, and respect for a community – Hispanic America – that sought to be represented and that had never before been served in such a meaningful way.”

Perenchio’s career in entertainment began in the 1950s as a talent agent at Lew Wasserman’s MCA. Among his numerous other endeavors, Perenchio partnered with television legend Norman Lear in the 1970s to produce “The Jeffersons” and “One Day at a Time,” among other projects. The pair later purchased film distribution outfit Avco Embassy Pictures in 1982 for a reported $25 million, selling it three years later for $485 million to Coca-Cola Co. along with a TV library that included Lear’s popular shows.

“The world has a lost a glorious, most-generous man, and an absolute original,” Lear told the Business Journal in a statement relayed through a publicist. “There will never, ever be another him.”

Perenchio donated $25 million to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art last year. He also pledged an art collection worth $500 million to the museum in 2014.

In addition to serving as chairman of Chartwell Partners, the media, entertainment, and real estate investment firm he founded in 1983, he headed the Jerry Perenchio Living Trust, the vehicle through which the influential Republican political donor made a number of contributions through the years.

He continued his support for GOP candidates during the 2016 election cycle, spending $4.7 million, with most of that money going to Carly Fiorina’s failed presidential campaign.

A longtime board member of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and a close friend of Nancy Reagan, Perenchio served as a pallbearer at the former first lady’s funeral in March of last year.

– Helen Zhao

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