Grant Tinker, Stamford native and former NBC executive who made his mark in television in the 1970s and '80s with "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," which he launched with his former wife, and "Hill Street Blues" among many others, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. according to multiple sources. He was 90.
NBC announced his death Wednesday, though no cause was given. Tinker, who co-founded MTM Enterprises with second wife Mary Tyler Moore, went on to lead NBC television in a revival with hit shows such as "The Cosby Show" and "Family Ties," according to both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
“Grant Tinker was a great man who made an indelible mark on NBC and the history of television that continues to this day,” NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke said in a statement. “He loved creative people and protected them, while still expertly managing the business. Very few people have been able to achieve such a balance. We try to live up to the standards he set each and every day.”
He was born Jan. 11, 1926 in Stamford, and served in the U.S. Army Air Forces Reserve during World War II. He graduated from Dartmouth College, and married Ruth Byerly in 1950, with whom he had four children, daughter Jodie, sons Mike, Mark and John. Mark Tinker and John Tinker are both television producers, according to the Los Angeles Times.
He started out as a trainee at NBC working in the mailroom, left and returned several times, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was married to Moore from 1962 to 1981, and after their split left MTM to take the helm at NBC where he helped the network turn itself around with shows such as "Cheers" and "Hill Street Blues."