Haim Saban: Media Mogul with Political Influence

Haim Saban: Media Mogul with Political Influence

Haim Saban is a US-Israeli media mogul and businessman who ranks #295 in the Forbes list of the richest people in the US with an estimated net worth of three billion dollars. His wealth is attributed to his media and animation productions. He is well-known for his philanthropic donations for political causes. Saban is said to have paved the way for the Abraham Accords between UAE and Israel in 2020.

Saban’s donations in politics have been bipartisan. As a consistent donor to the US Democratic Party, he was one of the major individual donors in the 1998 elections. During the Clinton administration, he served in the President’s Export Council. He is still a close friend and supporter of the Clintons.

On the other side, Haim Saban also donated to the Republican Party, as he contributed to George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004. However, he considered Trump “a danger to America” and said he disliked the Democratic candidate in the preliminary elections Bernie Sanders, whom he described as “.. a communist under the cover of being a socialist”.

Saban was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in October 1944, to an Egyptian-Jewish family which immigrated to Israel in 1956 while he was a child. His father sold stationary door to door for a living. After high school, Haim started his career as a guitar and bass player in Israel. He relocated to France in early 1970s to work as a music producer, and became a major player.

Immigrating to the United States, he founded Saban Entertainment in 1988. With his partner Shuki Levi, Haim became famous for composing soundtracks for kids’ TV programs. In the 1990s, he brought the Japanese series “Super Sentai” to Western audiences and then came the hit “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” whose franchise generated more than six billion dollars in toy sales. He owned and sold it twice, the second time in 2018 to Hasbro in a 522 million dollars deal, according to Forbes.

Following his Power Rangers success, he launched Fox Family Worldwide in a joint venture with News Corp. The venture which included Fox Family Channel, Fox Kids International and Saban Entertainment was sold to Walt Disney Corp. in 2001 for 5.3 billion dollars and was renamed ABC Family.

Afterwards, Saban established an investment company, Saban Capital Group. One of his most significant deals was the purchase of Spanish language TV Network Univision Communications for $13.7 billion in 2007.

In 1999, Saban and wife Cheryl Saban launched the Saban Family Foundation which worked with children’s hospitals, cancer institutes, and a motion picture foundation in addition to others. The family is said to have given more than 13% of their wealth to charity, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

In 2002, Saban provided initial grant to and pledged to fund the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, which is a Washington-based think tank, and part of the larger Brookings Institute think tank. The Center works to provide US policy makers with information and analysis on US foreign policy in the Middle East.

Talking about his devotion to political causes and charity, he always expresses his commitment to both the United States and Israel.

"The basic strategy is 50-50. Meaning for every dollar we give in America, we give a dollar in Israel," he told Hollywood Reporter. "I was an immigrant twice, once from Egypt to Israel. Israel opened her arms and took me in. And (later) America opened her arms, and I'm an American citizen now."

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