RICHARD PARSONS Biography - People in the News and Media


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Name: Richard Parsons                                                               
Born: 4 April 1948 Brooklyn, New York, U.S.                                         
Richard Dean Parsons was born in New York, Brooklyn on April 4, 1948. He is the     
Chairman of the Board of Time Warner. It was recently announced that he will be     
stepping down as CEO of Time Warner on December 31 2007 but will remain as         
chairman of the board. He is also on the board of directors of Citigroup. A         
native of Brooklyn, New York, Parsons graduated from the University of Hawaii,     
at 6'4" tall he played varsity basketball. He earned a Juris Doctor from Albany     
Law School in 1971, coming top of his class.                                       
An African-American Republican, Parsons served an internship at the New York       
State Legislature, at which time he was invited to work as a lawyer for the         
staff of the then New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. When Rockefeller was       
appointed Vice President of the United States, in 1974, Parsons followed him to     
Washington D.C., where he worked directly with President Gerald Ford. He also       
met a deputy attorney general, Harold R. Tyler, and one his aides, a young         
Rudolph W. Giuliani, with whom he was to be closely associated - supporting him     
in his campaign for New York mayor and heading his transitional council.           
In 1977, Parsons returned to New York and became a partner after only two years     
at the Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler law firm; Working at the firm was           
Giuliani. During his eleven years at the firm he took on Happy Rockefeller, the     
widow of Nelson (who had died in 1979) as a high-profile client. In 1988, he       
was recruited to serve as chief operating officer of the Dime Bank by Harry W.     
Albright Jr., who was a former Rockefeller aide. He later became chairman and       
CEO and oversaw a merger with Anchor Savings Bank; gaining a substantial sum       
when the Dime Bank was demutualized.                                               
Three years later, in 1991, on the recommendation of Nelson's brother Laurance     
Rockefeller to the then CEO Steven Ross, Parsons was invited to join Time Warner's 
board; he subsequently became president of the company in 1995, recruited by       
Gerald Levin. He helped negotiate the company's merger with America Online in       
2000, creating a $165-billion media conglomerate.                                   
In December 2001, it was announced that chief executive Gerald Levin would         
retire and Parsons was selected as his successor. The announcement surprised       
many media watchers who expected chief operating officer Robert Pittman to take     
the helm. In 2003, Parsons made the announcement of the name change from AOL       
Time Warner to simply Time Warner.