Posted April 17, 2012

Entertainment industry veteran to receive Temple honorary degree

Larry Magid, a Philadelphia native, Temple University alumnus and legend in the live entertainment business, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Temple during its 125th Commencement Ceremony on May 10 in the Liacouras Center.

Magid started his career as a Temple student in the late 1960s booking bands and acts for college venues and nightclubs and has since produced and promoted over 16,000 performances, including 1985’s Live Aid and 2005’s Live 8, the two biggest music events in the history of the world.

“Larry Magid serves as an outstanding example to our students as a passionate entrepreneur, a Philadelphia leader and a dedicated supporter of Temple University,” said Temple University President Ann Weaver Hart. “We look forward to honoring his inspiring innovation and success.”

In 1968, he opened the world famous Electric Factory and later cofounded Electric Factory Concerts. He is now head of Larry Magid Entertainment.

Magid has been involved with over two-dozen Broadway shows as well as national and international tours for Richard Pryor, Bette Midler, Robin Williams, Kristin Chenoweth, Earth Wind & Fire, Grover Washington Jr. and The Allman Brothers, among others.

In 2005, Magid produced Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays” the largest grossing non-musical production in Broadway’s history, which received a Tony Award. He is currently working on a new Broadway musical of the movie, “Diner,” set to open on Broadway this November.

He has launched and/or promoted the careers of some of the most iconic performers in the music industry, including Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and Temple alumni Daryl Hall and John Oates.

In addition to Live Aid and Live 8, Magid produced events for Amnesty International, Rock the Vote and Farm Aid.

His book, “My Soul’s Been Psychedelicized: Electric Factory: Four Decades in Posters and Photographs,” published by Temple University Press in 2011, offers a one-of-a-kind photographic history of rock and roll, from the 1960s to the Live Aid concert in 1985 and the closing of the Philadelphia Spectrum in 2009.

Magid, a loyal and generous supporter of Temple, has served as a member of the President's Council, where he was a member of the Baptist Temple Renovation Work Group and spearheaded the fundraising effort to name the main auditorium for broadcast pioneer Lew Klein.

His gifts to the university also included the establishment of the Alexander Magid and Leon Fisher scholarships at Temple’s School of Communications and Theater. The scholarships are in memory of his father, Alexander, and Leon Fisher, a broadcaster he credits with giving him his start in the music industry.

In 2001, Magid and his wife, Mickey, started a foundation to benefit and assist students of Bryant Elementary School, the elementary school he attended in West Philadelphia. He is also active in youth-oriented charities and animal rights groups, with programs including The Utley Foundation, The Vetri Foundation, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Magid is a tireless promoter of the City of Philadelphia in centering his business here and attracting talent and events to the city, as well as in his support to community causes, most notably, music education.

Temple has honored Magid for his achievements in the past with the Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Award and induction into the School of Communications and Theater's Hall of Fame, both in 2006.

Additionally, Magid has been lauded by the Police Athletic League, The Art Alliance, the Boy Scouts and The National Recording Academy Honors. He has received national and local awards from three governors, five mayors, the White House, the U.S. Senate and City Council, as well as numerous industry awards.

Magid has served on the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Mayor’s Arts Council Advisory Board and is founder and chairman emeritus of The Philadelphia Music Alliance and the North American Promoters Association.