Former presidential aide Valenti suffers stroke

WASHINGTON Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:35pm EDT

Jack Valenti in Beverly Hills, October 10, 2006. The former presidential aide and movie ratings creator has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke last week, two of his friends said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Jack Valenti in Beverly Hills, October 10, 2006. The former presidential aide and movie ratings creator has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke last week, two of his friends said on Tuesday.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. presidential aide and movie ratings creator Jack Valenti has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke last week, his friends said on Tuesday.

"He is hospitalized at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and his family tells me that the doctors are encouraged by his progress to date," Barry Meyer, chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros., said in a statement made at the request of the family.

"Out of respect for Jack and the family's privacy, we are not going to release any additional information at this time," Meyer said.

Valenti, 85, was preparing to promote his new book, "This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House, and Hollywood," which is due out in June.

Valenti served as an aide to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, and was aboard Air Force One by Johnson's side when he was sworn in after Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

A Texas native, Valenti ran an advertising agency in Houston before heading to Washington to work for Johnson, then majority leader of the U.S. Senate.

He later spent 38 years as the top lobbyist for Hollywood, heading the Motion Picture Association of America, or MPAA, where he helped develop a voluntary ratings system for movies and fending off government attempts to curb explicit sex and violence on film.

After leaving the MPAA in 2004, he worked with the television industry to fight tougher regulations to address concerns by parents' groups and regulators about profanity and sexual content on broadcast television.

He still retains an office at the movie organization's Washington headquarters.

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