Famed entertainment industry exec Charles Koppelman dead at 82

A legendary veteran executive of the entertainment industry, Charles Koppelman, passed away last week at the age of 82, the New York Post’s Page Six reported.

A cause of death for Koppelman hasn’t been revealed, but the outlet claimed that sources close to the family said he’d been battling a “long illness” and social media posts from his family shared that he was surrounded by loved ones when he died on Friday.

Beloved father passes

“I’ll write more about my dad, Charles Koppelman, when I can,” his son Brian Koppelman said in a post to Instagram. “But the only thing that matters is how much I loved him. And how much he taught me about every single thing that matters. He lived exactly the life he wanted to live. And he spent his last days surrounded by those he loved the most. Pop, thank you.”


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A post shared by Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman)

Koppelman’s daughter, Jenny Hutt, posted an old family photo to Instagram and wrote, “With a very heavy heart, we want to share that our beloved father, Pop-Pop, and best friend Charles Koppelman passed away peacefully earlier today surrounded by his entire family. His larger-than-life presence will be with us forever.”


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A post shared by Jenny Hutt (@justjennyhutt)

A decades-long career

According to Variety, Charles Koppelman was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1940 and began his career in the entertainment industry as a singer/songwriter in the 1960s, but soon realized that songwriting wasn’t his specialty and instead transitioned to become a music producer.

Over the ensuing decades, he worked with or formed his own different imprints and labels, including Aldon Music, CBS Records, Columbia Records, SBK Entertainment, EMI, and C.A.K. Entertainment.

During that time, Koppelman helped find and make stars of a diverse cast of artists that ranged from Barbara Streisand and Wilson Phillips to the New Kids on the Block and Vanilla Ice, among many others. He also worked with Prince on the “Emancipation” album and helped manage the artist’s estate after his death in 2016.

In addition to the music industry, Koppelman also branched out to work with luxury fashion designer Steve Madden and was the chairman of Martha Stewart’s Living Omnimedia for several years, and Page Six noted that he served on the boards of several other major corporate entities including Las Vegas Sands and Sea World.

Survived by wife, children, and grandchildren

An unnamed music industry veteran told Page Six of Koppelman’s legendary status, “A remarkable career made even more so by his dyslexia and his extremely modest economic origins — as a kid growing up in Laurelton, Queens, who was a physical education major in college before he was kicked out for playing cards when he should have been in class.”

Koppelman is survived by his adult son and daughters Brian, Jenny, and Stacy, plus seven grandchildren, as well as his wife Gerri Kyhill Koppelman, who he married in 2011 following the 2008 death of his first wife and mother of his children, Brenda “Bunny” Koppelman.