Peter Grad Dies At 75 — Multi-Faceted TV Executive And Producer Raised Awareness About Alzheimer’s Post Retirement

Peter Grad, a television executive, producer, and philanthropist, died of a heart attack. He was 75.

Grad, a multi-faceted personality who worked for some of the major production houses, died on August 1 while vacationing with his family in Vail, Colorado. The 75-year-old veteran worked in myriad fields like engineering, finance, acting, and producing, before discovering his calling lay in television program production, reported MSN. Born March 22, 1940, in Newark, New Jersey, Grad experimented with multiple career options before starting his career in television content production with Paramount Television.

Peter Grad quickly rose among the ranks and moved to 20th Century Fox Television, where he worked as a TV development exec for seven years. His tireless efforts to ensure the content was crisp and delivered on time earned him a presidency of MTM Studios during his career that spanned almost four decades. During his time, he helped produce and fine-tune popular series such as L.A. Law, The Fall Guy, Mr. Belvedere, and Evening Shade, reported Variety.

Peter Grad was married to Laurie Burrows, daughter of critically-acclaimed playwright-director Abe Burrows. His marriage lasted for 47 years. Through such a long-lasting marriage, Peter fathered, nurtured, and groomed his son, Nick Grad, who is married to Carolyn Bernstein and has a daughter, Susan Grad Baerwald. Nick Grad is president of original programming and production at FX Networks, while Carolyn is executive vice president at Endemol Shine Studios.

After his stint at Paramount, Grad moved to Time Life Television in 1978, and then to Columbia Pictures Television. His last association with the TV industry before retiring was through Fox, in the 1980s. After announcing his retirement from the entertainment industry, Grad decided to devout his life to raising awareness and support for the Alzheimer’s Association. Perhaps seeing his father-in-law struggling with the neurodegenerative disease, which still doesn’t have a definitive cure, Grad felt it necessary to call upon the society and the medical fraternity to try and work out something that can help those who have to regularly battle the disease.

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Peter Grad and his wife were instrumental in establishing A Night at Sardi’s fundraiser, an annual event that aims to acknowledge and applaud the relentless efforts put in by researchers, doctors, caregivers, and families to help those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease lead as normal a life as possible. The fundraiser, in its 23 years of existence, has managed to generate $27 million and even managed generate support from TV stars and the motion picture industry.

Peter Grad will certainly be remembered not just for his behind-the-scene contribution to the TV industry, but for his active participation in raising awareness towards Alzheimer’s disease.

[Image Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images]