James M. Nederlander or “Jimmy”, Chairman of The Nederlander Organization, is the visionary theatrical impresario who built one of the largest private live entertainment companies in the world that now encompasses venue ownership and management, theatrical producing and concert presentation, merchandising, concessions and patron services.
Jimmy started working in the theatre at age 7, sweeping floors for his father David Tobias (D.T.) Nederlander in Detroit, Michigan. During a career that spans 70 years, Jimmy has amassed a network of premier legitimate theatres including nine on Broadway: the Brooks Atkinson, Gershwin, Lunt-Fontanne, Marquis, Minskoff, Nederlander, Neil Simon, Richard Rodgers, and the world-renowned Palace; Chicago: Auditorium and Bank of America Theatres, Broadway Playhouse, Cadillac Palace and Oriental Theatres; in Los Angeles, the magnificent Pantages Theatre; and in London, the Adelphi, Aldwych, and Dominion Theatres.
He has produced over one hundred of the most acclaimed Broadway musicals and plays of all time including Annie, Applause, La Cage aux Folles, Me and My Girl, Nine, Noises Off, Peter Pan, Sweet Charity, The Will Rogers Follies, Woman of the Year, and too many others to mention.
Jimmy Nederlander’s name is forever linked to the some of the world’s most distinguished performing companies whose work he produced and presented on Broadway including the Royal Shakespeare Company’s acclaimed productions of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Cyrano and Sherlock Holmes; Rudolf Nureyev and Friends, The Bolshoi Ballet, and the Virsky’s Ukranian State Dance Company.
Jimmy is credited with developing the outdoor amphitheatre concept as the developer of several premier venues including the New Jersey Garden State Arts Center, Pine Knob Music Theatre, the Merriweather Post Pavilion, the Pacific Amphitheatre, and as the decades-long operator of the Greek Theatre where he has presented headline artists including Tony Bennett, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Jackie Mason, Liza Minnelli, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, and a legion of others.
“Generous,” “loyal” and “trusted” are just a few of the accolades Jimmy’s numerous friends use to describe him—many of whom have enjoyed a life-long personal and business relationship. In 1972, Jimmy and pals Earl Blackwell, Gerard Oestricher and Arnold Weissberg founded the Theatre Hall of Fame, which is still housed in the lobby of the Gershwin Theatre. In 1973, he partnered with George Steinbrenner to purchase the New Yankee Baseball Club. To this day, the sun reflects off his championship ring as he watches the season open every spring.
Beloved by the industry, Jimmy is the recipient of many distinguished honors including the United Nations Foundation Champion Award (2012), The Broadway League’s Schoenfeld Vision for Arts Education Award (2011), the New York Pop’s Man of the Year (2008), the Tony Award® Special Tony Award for Life Time Achievement (2004), The Actors’ Fund Medal of Honor (2002), United Jewish Appeal-New York Federations’ Bernard B. Jacobs Excellence in the Theatre Award (1997) and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located outside the Pantages Theatre at 6233 Hollywood Blvd. In 2009, The National High School Musical Theater Award was established and named The Jimmy® to celebrate his career-long dedication to supporting young talent.
Jimmy received an Honorary Doctorate of FIne Arts at the Forty-third Commencement exercises at The University of Connecticut School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine and Graduate School on Monday, May 12, 2014.