Judy Solomon, the six-term former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, died Friday morning. She was 91 years old.
The Golden Globes, of which the HFPA acts as the parent company, announced the news on Saturday. They credit Solomon for overseeing the growth of the Globes and for innovating many of the awards ceremony’s best-known features.
“We are incredibly saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Judy Solomon. The loss is profound, but we take this opportunity to celebrate her incredible achievements in helping to make the Golden Globes the global award it is today,” current HFPA President Helen Hoehne said in a statement. “We are grateful for her support and leadership during her 67 years as a member of the HFPA.”
Hoehne continued: “Judy not only loved the HFPA, but she also loved Hollywood. She loved the people she met, the executives she collaborated with, and the rich tapestry of film and television that audiences around the world enjoyed.”
Born in Romania and raised in Israel, Solomon began her career in journalism after moving to the US and raising a family, mostly for a number of Israeli publications as an entertainment writer.
He joined the HFPA in 1956. In addition to supporting the work of foreign journalists in the US, during his tenure with the organization he used the proceeds from the Globes to expand the HFPA’s philanthropic efforts in the arts, education , film restoration and journalism.
One of the changes to the Globes ceremony for which he is credited today is the introduction of Dick Clark to the awards, which led to the organization’s longstanding association with Dick Clark Productions. He is also said to have been instrumental in moving the ceremony from the Cocoanut Grove Club at the Ambassador Hotel to the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Solomon is survived by his daughters Donna Sloan and Deborah Solomon, son-in-law Stephen Sloan, and granddaughter Ashley Sloan.