Today’s Guest: Sam Haskell, CEO, Miss America Pageant, author, Promises I Made My Mother
(UPDATE: Sam Haskell was suspended and subsequently resigned as CEO of the Miss America Organization on December 23, 2017, following the release of emails in which he and other leaders of the organization allegedly criticized past winners in coarse terms. This interview was posted June 2, 2009. — Bob Andelman)
Over the course of my youth I made a lot of promises to my mother.
Yes, mom, I promise I’ll bathe every day. And no, I won’t tell dad how the car door got that dent in it. Okay, I promise Ira will never know he’s adopted.
But Sam Haskell took this whole thing a lot more seriously. He built a life and career on character and righteousness. That’s one thing if you’re a Scoutmaster, but he made it work in Hollywood as the long-time head of television for the William Morris Agency. And now he’s applying those same principles to the Miss America pageant.
Haskell is the author of a new book, Promises I Made My Mother, co-authored by David Rensin, which takes those very same promises and wraps them around his personal life and career.
If you’re not in show business, you can be forgiven for not knowing Haskell’s name. But you’ll probably recognize the client of his who wrote the introduction: Ray Romano, star of the hit sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.”