James M. Nederlander, American Broadway theater owner and producer, Died at 94

  Business, Media

James M. Nederlander was born on March 31, 1922, and died July 25, 2016.

He was chairman of the Nederlander Organization.

This was one of the largest live theater owners and producers in the United States.

He was the first of the brothers to go into the family business.

Nederlander dropped out of the pre-law program at the Detroit Institute of Technology, took a job in the box office of the Lafayette Theater, and then worked as the treasurer in the traveling Air Force production of Moss Hart’s Winged Victory which played on Broadway where he made valuable connections.

Following his father’s death in the 1960s, the Nederlander brothers continued to purchase theaters expanding nationally with Jimmy moving to New York City, Harry to San Francisco, and Joey remaining in Detroit.

Their families largest competition were the Shubert family, the founders of Broadway theatre district in New York City.

Jimmy purchased ten theaters in New York City from 1965 to 1985, and produced hundreds of plays forming close relationships with producers David Merrick, Alexander H. Cohen, and Emanuel Azenberg.

During 1973, James Nederlander and his brothers joined with George Steinbrenner as limited partners when Steinbrenner purchased the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball.

However, the Nederlander Organization controls nine Broadway theaters and is the second-largest of the three companies that dominate Broadway after the Shubert Organization (which owns sixteen theaters) and ahead of Jujamcyn (which owns five).

Globally the Nederlander Organization is larger with an additional fifteen theaters nationwide.

He was married twice, first wife was Barbara Smith, with whom he has a son, James L. Nederlander.

During 1969, James married his second wife Charlene Saunders.

James M. Nederlander passed away at 94 years old.