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Tom Sherak, former Oscars boss, dead at 68

Tom Sherak, former Oscars boss, dead at 68
Actress Jennifer Lawrence and Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences President Tom Sherak announce the best actor nominees for the 84th annual Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, California on January 24, 2012. The 84th Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 26, 2012. UPI/Jim Ruymen.. | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Tom Sherak, a former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and studio executive, died Tuesday at his home in Calabasas, Calif. He was 68.

"With broken hearts we want to share with you the news that Tom Sherak passed away today after a long 12 year battle with prostate cancer. He died at home surrounded by his family giving him hugs, kisses, and love," the Sheraks said in a statement issued through the academy.

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"Tom is, was, and always will be, our loving husband, daddy, papa, brother, friend, and 'go to guy.' He blessed this earth for 68 incredible years, and he will be missed every single day. Tom lived his life as an open book. He opened his heart and let the world in, and anyone who was lucky enough to know him knew first hand the power of his love. He gave everything he had to help others, regardless of whether or not he knew them. Tom is a true hero in our lives who has a star on the sidewalk and wings to fly. We love him so very much."

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The New York native had been diagnosed with prostate cancer years ago and died in hospice care, the Hollywood Reporter said.

In addition to his work in the entertainment industry, Sherak also helped raise more than $40 million for multiple sclerosis research and programs, the newspaper said.

Sherak's career included lengthy stints at 20th Century Fox and Revolution Studios, as well as three consecutive one-year terms as president of the academy through August 2012.

Sherak is survived by Madeleine, his wife of more than 45 years; daughters Barbara and Melissa; and a son, William.

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