Mo Ostin

Mo Ostin (born Morris Meyer Ostrofsky; March 27, 1927) is an American record executive who has worked for several companies, including Verve, Reprise Records, Warner Bros. Records, and DreamWorks. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 by Paul Simon, Neil Young, and Lorne Michaels. He is known among his colleagues[who?] as the most artist-friendly executive in the music business.[citation needed]

Mo Ostin
Morris Meyer Ostrofsky

(1927-03-27) March 27, 1927 (age 93)
OccupationRecord Producer
Spouse(s)Evelyn Ostin
ChildrenMichael Ostin
Randy Ostin


Born Morris Meyer Ostrofsky[1] to a Jewish family,[2] Ostin began his career in the mid-1950s at Clef Records, soon to be renamed Verve, where he was involved with Jazz At The Philharmonic, a worldwide concert promotion operation that provided a live performance platform for the label's touring stars. Frank Sinatra tried and failed to buy Verve, which was eventually sold to MGM Records. Sinatra was reportedly so impressed by the company's artists and management style that he formed his own Reprise Records in 1960 and hired Ostin to head it. In 1963, Reprise joined forces with Warner Bros.[3]

Ostin spent 32 years at Warner/Reprise. He was instrumental in the acquisition of the independent Elektra label by Warner Communications as well as the subsequent formation of WEA Corporation and WEA International. Recognized as an industry titan, he served as chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America for a two-year term. After departing Warner Bros., in 1994, he went on to found the music division of the entertainment conglomerate DreamWorks SKG. In 2003, Ostin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Three years later he received The Recording Academy President's Merit Award at the 2006 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons.[citation needed]

A graduate of UCLA, Ostin and his late wife Evelyn played a critical role in establishing the university's Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center. The Mo Ostin Basketball Center, a state of the art training facility, was opened in October, 2017.[4]


In May 2011, Ostin donated $10 million to his alma mater UCLA, where he earned an economics degree, for a state-of-the-art campus music facility known as the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center. He presently sits on the UCLA Board of Visitors for the UCLA School of Arts, and the USC Board of Advisors for the Thornton School of Music.[citation needed] In March 2015, Ostin donated $10 million to UCLA for a new basketball training facility, which will be called the Mo Ostin Basketball Center.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Ostin's wife Evelyn died in 2005; they had three children Randy Ostin (1953–2013), Kenny Ostin (1956–2004), and Michael Ostin.[6][7][8]


  1. ^ "Mo Ostin Record company executive". 2004.
  2. ^ Gensler, Andy; Halperin, Shirley (September 23, 2014). "Houses of the Holy: Where the Music Biz Celebrates the Jewish High Holidays". Billboard.
  3. ^ "Mo Ostin | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  4. ^ "The Mo Ostin Basketball Center".
  5. ^ "UCLA Athletics Announces Plans for New Basketball Practice Facility". 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  6. ^ Barnes, Mike (September 1, 2013). "Music Exec Randy Ostin Dies at 60". The Hollywood Reporter.
  7. ^ "Randall Alan Ostin Obituary". Los Angeles Times. September 1, 2013.
  8. ^ Canby, Vincent (April 17, 1987). "Film: A Documentary, Diane Keaton'S 'Heaven'". The New York Times. Mr. King is the only so-called celebrity in the film, if you don't count the celebrity of Victoria Sellers, the daughter of Peter Sellers and Britt Ekland, and of her boyfriend, Kenny Ostin, the son of Mo Ostin, the head of Warner Brothers Records.

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