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Jenette Kahn

JENETTE KAHN is partnered with Adam Richman in Double Nickel Entertainment, a New York-based production company.  Their first film was the thriller THE FLOCK starring Richard Gere and Claire Danes.  They followed it with GRAN TORINO, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.  Of all Clint Eastwood's films, it is second only to AMERICAN SNIPER, grossing $270 million worldwide.  Jenette and Adam went on to make THE BOOK OF HENRY with Naomi Watts, and A KID LIKE JAKE with Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, and Octavia Spencer.​  They recently entered the TV space with shows set up at Warner Bros., Universal, and several streamers. 

 

At 28, Jenette became publisher of DC Comics, a division of Warner Bros. and home to over 5000 characters including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.  Five years later, she became President and Editor-in-Chief, and when its founder Bill Gaines died, President and Editor-in-Chief of MAD Magazine as well.  She was the youngest person in the company to become president of a division, and also the first woman.

During her 27-year tenure at DC and MAD, Jenette earned renown as one of the most respected women in the entertainment industry.  She introduced the graphic novel to America and transformed comics from a children’s medium to a sophisticated art form.  Under her aegis, DC published groundbreaking titles like The Dark Knight Returns, Constantine, Watchmen, Road to Perdition, A History of Violence, V for Vendetta, and Preacher, all of which have been made as features or television shows.  Jenette is also renowned for implementing extensive rights for creators in an industry where there were none.

Under her aegis, DC launched two seminal imprints, Vertigo, for serious, complex stories, and Milestone, a line of multi-ethnic superheroes, written, edited, and illustrated by multi-ethnic creators.  Jenette is also credited with reinventing the classic DC characters, greenlighting numerous storylines like The Death of Superman that

then became the basis for film and TV adaptations.  At her urging, DC pushed boundaries in subject matter, addressing issues of domestic violence, sexual preference, gun violence, homelessness, racism, and AIDS in the company’s mainstream titles.

Before joining DC Comics, Jenette created three watershed magazines for young people.  The first, KIDS, was entirely written and illustrated by kids for each other, and although it was published in the early 70s, it tackled subjects that are relevant today: drug abuse, racial diversity, animal protection, and climate change.  Jenette's second magazine was Dynamite.  Created for Scholastic Inc., it changed the fortunes of the company, becoming the most successful publication in its history and inspiring two similar periodicals for Scholastic: WOW and Bananas.  She followed it with SMASH for Xerox Education Publications.

President Reagan honored Jenette for her work on drug awareness, and she has been honored by the Clinton White House, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the United Nations, and the Department of Defense for her work on landmines.  The FBI honored her for her efforts on gun control, as did former Governor Wilder of Virginia, who credited Jenette with helping to pass stricter gun control legislation in his state.  She has also been honored by the Library of Congress, by the World Design Foundation for outstanding creative achievements, and has been inducted into the comics industry’s Hall of Fame.

 

Jenette established The Wonder Woman Foundation in honor of Wonder Woman’s 40th Anniversary.  In its three years of existence, the foundation gave out more than $350,000 in grants to women over 40 in categories that exemplified the inspirational characteristics of the DC heroine: women taking risks, women pursuing equality and truth, women striving for peace, women helping other women.

Jenette graduated Harvard with honors in Art History, is an advisor to Bill T. Jones's Live Arts, and serves on the board of Harlem Stage.  Her book In Your Space was published by Abbeville Press in the spring of 2002.