Aaron Russo: Wikis


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Aaron Russo

Russo promoting his film America: Freedom to Fascism
Born February 14, 1943
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died August 24, 2007 (aged 64)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Known for Film producer, libertarian politician and activist
Religion Judaism

Aaron Russo (February 14, 1943 - August 24, 2007) was an entertainment businessman, filmmaker, libertarian political activist, and a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.[1] He was best-known for producing Trading Places, Wise Guys, and The Rose. Later in life he created the documentaries Mad as Hell, which calls into question the current state of governmental affairs and America: Freedom to Fascism, which investigates the breadth of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve System. After a six year battle with bladder cancer, Russo died on August 24, 2007.[2]


Early life

Aaron Russo was born into a family in Brooklyn, New York in 1943. Before moving to New York, his family lived in Mexico, Spain, Italy, and Greece.[citation needed] He was raised on Long Island.

Aaron Russo worked for his family's undergarment business, and while in high school, promoted Rock and roll concerts at local theaters. At the age of 24, he opened his own nightclub. [3]

Entertainment career

On April 4, 1968, Russo opened the nightclub Kinetic Playground, originally named the Electric Theater. Through the club, he hosted various famous rock bands and musicians such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Iron Butterfly, Rotary Connection and Jefferson Airplane.[3]

During his career in the entertainment industry, Russo was manager for The Manhattan Transfer and Bette Midler from 1972 to 1979[4] whose breakout film, The Rose, he produced. Russo stated that he was the first person to book Led Zeppelin in the United States club Kinetic Playground.

He was awarded an Emmy for a Bette Midler TV special, and a gold record for producing the soundtrack to The Rose. Russo directed 1989's Rude Awakening. Russo's films received six Academy Award nominations. Russo has personally won both an Emmy and a Tony award[citation needed] and his films have been nominated for Golden Globe awards twice.[5]

His final film was America: Freedom to Fascism, a documentary critical of The Federal Reserve System and the Internal Revenue Service.[6]

Political career

Russo became involved in politics in the early 1990s when he produced and starred in a video entitled Mad As Hell in which he criticized NAFTA, The War on Drugs, the concept of a National Identity Card, and government regulation of alternative medicine.[citation needed]

Russo ran in the Republican primary for governor of Nevada in 1998, placing second with 26% of the vote. He later endorsed the Democratic candidate, Las Vegas mayor Jan Laverty Jones, who lost to Republican Kenny Guinn.[citation needed] Russo subsequently planned to run for governor in 2002 as an independent or a Libertarian, but he was sidelined by cancer.

In January 2004, he declared his candidacy for the President of the United States as an independent, then decided to run for the Libertarian Party's nomination. While some considered Russo's style crude and even insulting, [7]others argued his media experience would enable him to pose a serious threat to incumbent President George W. Bush, pulling enough votes from otherwise likely Bush voters to affect the outcome in battleground states, in the same way that Ralph Nader was considered to be in relation to Democrat John Kerry.[8][9][10]

At the Libertarian National Convention in May 2004, Russo received 258 votes, as opposed to 256 for Michael Badnarik and 246 for Gary Nolan, short of the majority required to receive the presidential nomination. Russo went on to be defeated on the third and final ballot by nominee Badnarik by a vote of 423-344. On February 15, 2004, Aaron Russo endorsed the Free State Project.[11]

On January 14, 2007, Russo announced his full support for U.S. Congressman Ron Paul's 2008 presidential bid.[12][13] This support includes his America: Freedom to Fascism volunteer network.[14] Also in 2007, Russo created restoretherepublic.net, a website dedicated to continuing his work and uniting those who subscribe to his beliefs.[citation needed]

The Aaron Russo Gold Commemorative Memorial Piece.


Russo died of bladder cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California on August 24, 2007, at age 64,[15][16]. Shortly before his passing, in 2007, Russo founded RestoreTheRepublic.com to fulfill the political ambitions laid out in his final film. He publicly passed the torch to Gary S. Franchi Jr., founder of the Lone Lantern Society of America to lead the new organization and carry on his fight.[17] Russo said his goal was to "try and get the word out to the public about what's happening to America -- and give them an opportunity to try to change things".

Regarding an epitaph for his headstone after his death, he told the Las Vegas Sun (November 4, 1999), "I want it to say, 'Freedom Fighter'".

On February 14, 2008 Russo's organization produced a gold and silver commemorative piece to immortalize their founder. On the front side of each piece, the words "Freedom Fighter" were embossed.[citation needed]


  1. ^ David Stein. "Aaron Russo's film suggests neo-cons planned 9/11, and also seek to micro-chip all Americans". The Canadian. http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2007/03/09/01401.html. 
  2. ^ "May Aaron Russo Rest In Peace". http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/2007/08/24/may-aaron-russo-rest-in-peace/. 
  3. ^ a b Historic Interview with Aaron Russo, Fighting Cancer and the New World Order on Google Video, an interview by Alex Jones on January 2007 about Aaron's past and current events accessed at August 2007
  4. ^ Mahoney, John C. (November 1979). "Bette Midler in "The Rose"". Bette on the Boards. http://www.betteontheboards.com/boards/magazine-20.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  5. ^ "Aaron Russo". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. http://www.goldenglobes.org/browse/member/28213. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Johnston, David Cay (2006-07-31). "Facts Refute Filmmaker’s Assertions on Income Tax in 'America'". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/31/movies/31russ.html. Retrieved 2006-08-03. 
  7. ^ Moore, Carol (June 22, 2004). "2004 Convention Report". Carol Moore. http://www.carolmoore.net/libertarianparty/convention2004report.html. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  8. ^ Tuccille, Jerome (June 3, 2004). "It Usually Begins With… Michael Badnarik?". LewRockwell.com. http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/tuccille6.html. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  9. ^ Moulitsas, Markos (May 13, 2004). "Bush's libertarian challenge". Daily Kos. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/5/14/02051/7441. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  10. ^ Kuhn, David Paul (May 21, 2004). "Bush's Third-Party Threat". CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/21/politics/main619019.shtml. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  11. ^ "Aaron Russo's endorsement of the Free State Project."". http://www.freestateproject.org/about/endorsements#ar. 
  12. ^ Russo, Aaron (January 14, 2007). "Aaron Russo Announces Full Support Of Ron Paul". Rense.com. http://www.rense.com/general75/arrp.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  13. ^ Wile, Anthony (January 15, 2007). "Ron Paul for Pres-Today's High Alert". Free Market News Network. http://www.freemarketnews.com/Analysis/134/6746/high%20alert.asp?nid=6746&wid=134&pv=1. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  14. ^ Watson, Paul Joseph & Alex Jones (January 12, 2007). "Ron Paul: Next President Of The USA?". America: Freedom to Fascism (Blog). http://naam.pair.com/aftf1626/AFTF/blog/2007/01/alex-jones-hightlights-ron-pauls.html. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  15. ^ Former Bette Midler manager and film producer dies at 64 San Jose Mercury News. 25 August 2007.
  16. ^ Music manager, film producer dies at 64 Associated Press (Yahoo Entertainment News), Aug. 25, 2007
  17. ^ AARON RUSSO 1943-2007

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