Entrepreneur, Motion Picture and Sports Executive, Humanitarian
From the descriptors above, it is clear that Tom Bernstein can do almost anything. Linking his various accomplishments together is his extraordinary leadership ability. In Scarsdale High, his personal magnetism, energy and common sense led to his election as G.O. President in the spring of 1969. Bernstein continued to thrive at Yale University, where he earned a BA, summa cum laude. In 1972, during the McGovern campaign, he was a delegate representing New York at the Democratic National Convention.
He was, at eighteen, the youngest delegate at the Convention. Next he took on Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Legal Journal. In 1983, Bernstein and a friend formed Silver Screen Management. Together, they financed a number of movies including Pretty Woman, The Little Mermaid, Three Men and a Baby and Beauty and the Beast . He produced the motion picture Sakharov, an honored show. Continuing his interest in leisure activities, Bernstein became one of the principal owners of the Texas Rangers along with a fellow Yalie, George W. Bush. Bernstein retained that position from 1989 to 1998. In the early nineteen nineties, he and a partner founded Chelsea Piers. He is President of that wildly successful enterprise today. Bernstein’s quote in Bandersnatch showed early on a commitment to being on the right side of moral issues. It began, “Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man has a right to kill be because he dwells the other side of the water, and because his prince has a quarrel with mine, although I have none with him?” Today Bernstein remains active in a number of pro bono activities. He is President of the Board of Directors of Human Rights First. That organization sued Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of the detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also on the Board of Directors of WNYC and the Fresh Air Fund. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked him to serve as a member of the Mayor’s Transition Team. In 2002, President Bush appointed Bernstein a Council Member of the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Bernstein is now on the Executive Committee of that organization.