Irwin Russell

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Irwin E. Russell (January 24, 1926 - August 23, 2013) was an American entertainment lawyer,[1] whose clients included Dr. Seuss, Michael Eisner, Jim Henson, David Wolper, Christina Crawford and Robert Preston.[2][3][4] Russell was a leading attorney behind the 1984 takeover of The Walt Disney Company and the accession of Michael Eisner as the CEO of Disney.[2] Prior to this, Russell negotiated deals which brought Candid Camera to television and Jim Henson's Muppets to Sesame Street.[2][3]

Russell was born on January 24, 1926. He received a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1949.[2] He worked in private practice in New York City.[2] Russell had also served on the National Wage Stabilization Board, based in Washington D.C.[2]

Russell moved to Los Angeles in 1971.[2] One of Russell's best known clients was Michael Eisner, whom he represented for more than forty years from Eisner's time at ABC, Paramount, and Disney.[2] He continued to represent Eisner at The Tornante Company until his death in August 2013.[2] In 1984, Russell negotiated the deal which brought Eisner to Disney as the company's CEO.[2] Irwin Russell then served on the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company.[2]

Irwin Russell died of complications from leukemia on August 23, 2013, at the age of 87.[2] His was survived by his wife, Suzanne.[3]


  1. ^ "Mr Irwin E. Russell, Attorney". Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hayden, Erik (2013-08-25). "Hollywood Attorney Irwin Russell Dies at 87". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  3. ^ a b c Miller, Daniel (2013-08-26). "Entertainment lawyer Irwin Russell dies at 87; represented Eisner, Henson". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  4. ^ Cunningham, Todd (2013-08-25). "Irwin Russell, Powerful Hollywood Attorney, Dead at 87". The Wrap. Retrieved 2013-09-22.