NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) – Marvin Josephson, founder of ICM Partners, died Tuesday (May 17) in New York. He was 95. An official cause of death has not been announced.
“We mourn the loss of Marvin Josephson, one of the founders of ICM, who was universally respected as an agent, a leader, and a man. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family.” – ICM.
Born March 6, 1927, in Atlantic City, NJ, to immigrant parents, he graduated Atlantic City High School and joined the US Navy just before the end of World War II. After the Navy, he attended Cornell University, followed by law school, and received his law degree in 1952.
He went on to form his own personal management/talent company, small and poor enough not even to be able to afford a secretary. His first client was known as “Captain Kangaroo” – Bob Keeshan, with a children’s show that ran for 29 years. He then picked up TV personalities like Barbara Walters.
During the late 50s and 60s, the agency grew by adding agents and clients, gaining respect throughout the industry. Josephson then combined his company with Los Angeles’ Rosenberg Coryell, changing the name to Marvin Josephson Associates (MJA). Following the buy-out of Ashley Famous Agency, MJA went public in 1971. He later renamed the company Josephson International, Inc.
As the company continued to grow through internal growth and acquisitions, Josephson International merged with Creative Management Associates (CMA), and the new company was branded International Creative Management (ICM).
ICM became a force to be reckoned with within the industry with offices in New York, London, and Los Angeles. ICM then created ICM Artists – a classical music division representing Yo-Yo Ma and others. In 1988, Josephson decided to retake his company private, promising Jeff Berg, Sam Cohn, and Jim Wiatt (ICM agents/executives) the chance to run ICM within five years, as reported by Deadline.
Josephson began to slow down his involvement in day-to-day operations in the early 90s. Josephson made good on his promise, a man of his word, and in 1992, ICM was handed off to Berg, Cohn, Wiatt, and Messrs. ICM was then sold to a private investor (Suhail Rizvi) in 2005.
Outside of his career, Josephson practiced karate, later pursuing Krav Maga.
He is survived by his wife, Tina Chen; five children, Nancy Josephson, Celia, Claire, YiLing, and YiPei Chen-Josephson; 16 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; his brother, Jack Josephson. He was predeceased by a son, Joe Josephson.
The family asked that donations can be sent to The Jewish Federations of North America to support those in Ukraine instead of flowers.