Morris “Mo” Ostin ’51 is the recipient of UCLA alumni’s highest tribute, the Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year award. A legendary music industry executive and philanthropist, Ostin has played a vital role in music history. Known for encouraging creativity, respecting the artistic process and willing to take risks, he has generously shared his talents with UCLA, and his philanthropic support inspires countless Bruins.
One of music’s greatest executives, Ostin is known for spotting new music trends and signing notable artists, affording Ostin to work with some of the most renowned artists of the 20th Century including Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Van Morrison, Quincy Jones, The Kinks, The Grateful Dead, Eric Clapton, Randy Newman, Madonna, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Prince, Neil Young, The Sex Pistols, The Talking Heads, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin and Jimmy Fallon.
Ostin has also invested in UCLA’s rising talent. The Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center provides state-of-the-art access to the latest advances in music technology, and the Mo Ostin Basketball Center is the cutting-edge home for the men’s and women’s basketball programs. The Mo Ostin Academic Center for Student-Athletes will further his visionary legacy. He serves on the boards of visitors for the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, and supports the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. Ostin’s generosity extends beyond UCLA to benefit youth services, social services, community organizations, hospitals and health services.
Graduating from UCLA with a degree in economics, Ostin’s illustrious career has spanned a generation of the best in music: from his start at Verve Records, to Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records, then thirty-two years at Warner Bros. Records, including 25 as chairman/CEO, and leading the management team at DreamWorks SKG. He currently serves as Chairman Emeritus of Warner Bros. Records and continues to work as a consultant. Ostin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a lifetime achievement award in 2003, received the Recording Academy President’s Merit Award for his groundbreaking contributions to the music industry in 2006 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.