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Obituary: Antoine Choueiri

Obituary: Antoine Choueiri

"Choueiri was a modern day Colossus who, for nearly half a century, straddled the region’s media and advertising sectors."


March 9, 2010 2:55 by

Antoine Choueiri, the man widely regarded as the founding father and chief architect of the Middle East’s modern media industry, has died following a long battle with cancer.

He passed away on 9 March in his native Beirut.

As founder and chairman of the Choueiri Group, the Middle East’s largest media broker, he was a modern day Colossus who, for nearly half a century, straddled the region’s media and advertising sectors.

Throughout his lengthy career he attracted various monikers, such as ‘the Godfather’ of advertising, ‘Grandfather’ and ‘Media Mogul,’ In a rare interview, however, when asked how he described himself he simply replied: “Just a man from Lebanon.”

But such modesty belied his vast achievements. As a businessman he was hugely driven, possessed of great ingenuity and a shrewd strategist. He was also, say many, “exceptionally intellectual,” “very bullish,” and “a fighter.”

The man from Lebanon was born in Beirut on 3 August 1939, although his family roots are deep in The Cedars hillside town of Bcharre.

The eldest of three sons, Choueiri’s father was a railway mechanic.

Limited funds prevented his attending university, but a focused determination that was to become the hallmark of all his dealings saw the 15-year-old school-leaver enroll for night school. He studied accountancy and attained the highest qualification available in Lebanon at that time.


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