In Memoriam: Thomas P. Pollock
THOMAS P. POLLOCK
AFI CHAIR EMERITUS 1943 – 2020
Tom Pollock passed away on August 1 at the age of 77.
Tom would boast that his first job was at the American Film Institute serving as assistant to Founding Director George Stevens, Jr. in the earliest days of the AFI Conservatory.
He went on to become one of the most influential attorneys in town – Senior Partner of Pollock, Bloom and Dekom – and then, Chairman of Universal Pictures for over a decade. During his tenure, Universal released over 200 films, including SCHINDLER’S LIST, JURASSIC PARK and DO THE RIGHT THING. In fact, in a recent AFI Zoom event, Spike Lee said it best, “Tom Pollock is the unsung hero of DO THE RIGHT THING. The guy green-lit my movie and THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST in the same year!”
Tom joined the AFI Board of Trustees in 1985 and during his 35 years of leadership, he served as Chairman of the AFI Board of Trustees and Chairman of the AFI Board of Directors – and most recently as Vice Chair.
“Tom Pollock loved movies – powerfully and passionately. His legacy will show that he devoted his unmatched legal mind to championing great stories, and lucky for all movie lovers, he believed that those stories could both challenge and entertain,” said Bob Gazzale, President and CEO. “We have lost a fierce advocate for the art form, but at AFI his spirit will live on.”
In memory of Tom’s dedication to AFI and its storytellers, the Pollock Family has asked that any donations in Tom’s name be made to the Thomas P. Pollock Endowed Scholarship Fund at AFI.