Henry “Hank” Rieger, former president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, died Wednesday at age 95.
Rieger served as the Academy president from 1973 to 1975 and again from 1977 to 1980. He started his career as a bureau chief for United Press International and took a leave of absence in 1953 to serve as press attaché for the U.S. Consul General in Singapore. In 1965, Rieger began a 15-year run as West Coast director of press and publicity for the NBC Television Network promoting such popular TV programs as Bonanza, I Spy, Star Trek, Laugh In, Sanford and Son, and The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson. He also traveled overseas with Bob Hope to entertain U.S. troops.
“Hank Rieger worked tirelessly for many years on behalf of the television academy,” said Television Academy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Rosenblum. “He believed in The Academy’s ability to have a positive impact on the entire entertainment industry, and we are deeply grateful for all he contributed.”
Rieger served the Television Academy for 40 years — first as president of the Hollywood Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, then as President of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He was also the editor and publisher of Emmy Magazine, the publication he created for the organization.
Rieger’s wife of 65 years Deborah died last year and has no children.