Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees

A. Jerrold Perenchio
  • A. Jerrold Perenchio
A. Jerrold Perenchio

Renowned Television Executive/Philanthropist

California State University, Fresno

A. Jerrold (Jerry) Perenchio's grandparents emigrated from Italy to the United States and eventually settled in Fresno in 1920 and owned the Fresno Grape Exchange and the Crestview Winery. Born in Fresno, he attended local area schools before graduating from high school in Los Angeles. He received a bachelor of science degree from UCLA in 1954. Mr. Perenchio joined the Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant, flew T-34s and T-28s and became a single engine jet pilot. He started his own agency, Perenchio Artists, in 1964 and merged with another agency to become Chartwell Artists in 1967, which grew to be the fifth-largest talent agency in the world.

In 1971, Jerry co-promoted the World Heavyweight Championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frasier at Madison Square Garden. Many consider it the greatest heavyweight fight of the century.

From 1973 to 1985, Jerry and his partner, Norman Lear, presided over Tandem Productions/Embassy Television. They were the most successful producers of prime-time television at the time, with hit shows that included All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, One Day At a Time, The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss, Diff'rent Strokes and Silver Spoons. Also in 1982, he co-produced the film Blade Runner, and in 1989, in partnership with Richard Zanuck, he produced Driving Miss Daisy, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

In 1992 he and two business partners acquired Univision Communications, which they built into a Fortune 500 company and the dominant Spanish language television network in the country. He was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer until it was sold in 2007. Mr. Perenchio continues to run Chartwell Partners LLC, a private investment and consulting firm he founded in the late 1980s.

Over the course of 55 years, Mr. Perenchio has made his mark in almost every facet of the communications and entertainment industries. Through the Chartwell Charitable Foundation, he and his wife, Margie, are major supporters of education and the arts in the Fresno area along with many charitable causes in Southern California.

In recognition of his achievements in the entertainment and communication industries, his commitment to art education and his philanthropy, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Fresno are proud to confer upon A. Jerrold Perenchio the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.