Saban, Haim

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SABAN, HAIM (1944– ), American-Israeli media executive. A native of Alexandria, Egypt, Saban and his parents fled to Tel Aviv following the Suez War of 1956. He attended agricultural school and served in the Israel Defense Forces. After establishing a leading tour business, he relocated to France in 1975 and built a record company that became a major European label, selling over 18 million albums in eight years. In 1983, Saban moved to Los Angeles, where he launched a chain of recording studios that became one of the leading suppliers of music for television. He formed Saban Entertainment in 1988, an international television, production, distribution, and merchandising company, best known for creating the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, to this day the No. 1-selling toy for boys in the United States. In 1995, Saban merged his company with Rupert Murdoch's Fox Kids Network and acquired the Fox Family Channel (restructured as Fox Family Worldwide) in 1997. He sold it to the Walt Disney Co. in 2001 and became founder and ceo of Saban Capital Group, Inc. Saban supported many charities, including the Israel Cancer Research Fund, the John Wayne Cancer Institute, the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, and the Milken Community High School. He also founded the Saban Institute for the Study of the American Political System at the University of Tel Aviv and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute in Washington, d.c. In 2002, Governor Gray Davis appointed Saban to the University of California Board of Regents, the governing body of the University of California. Saban resigned from this post in 2004 after being publicly criticized for not attending meetings.

[Amy Handelsman (2nd ed.)]