Jerry Weintraub is a name among names in Hollywood, producing films such as The Karate Kid, oceans eleven (2003) and Nashville, among its repertoire. Weintraub started out as a mailroom clerk at MCA after serving in the Air Force in the 1950s. He learned a strong work ethic growing up from his family and how to sell things, from his father. . While at MCA, he served as an assistant to the great Lew Wasserman and eventually transitioned into management.
Weintraub went on to form his own personal management company and represented John Denver, Jackson Browne, Pat Boone and his future wife Jane Morgan. He directed and organized Elvis’ first national tour, then a tour for Frank Sinatra that cemented him as a concert promoter. His career gained momentum managing Bob Dylan and organizing tours for The Beach Boys, The Carpenters and The Moody Blues.
Weintraub moved into film production, with Nashville being his first. The film was nominated for five Oscars and won Best Original Song. He was off to the races now and produced Oh my God! with George Burns and John Denver, All night long with Barbara Streisand and Gene Hackman and the original Karate Kid series.
He produced The Karate Kid, The Karate Kid Part II, The Karate Kid Part III and The Next Karate Kid and formed his own production company, Weintraub Entertainment Group, in the late 1980s. The company eventually filed for bankruptcy in 1990. He returned to producing on his own and again struck gold in life, in launching a new franchise, the Ocean’s Eleven series with George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.
Weintraub died in 2015 at the age of 77 from cardiac arrest. He left a legacy of great movies, music and relationships which can be examined in more detail in the HBO documentary His way. I highly recommend you check it out whether or not you are a military veteran. There are plenty of interesting stories and interviews about his incredible impact on entertainment.