Royal E. Blakeman, a prominent entertainment lawyer who served as the 7th president of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, died Sunday, March 27, the academy announced. He was 99.
“Our Academy has lost one of its founding generation,” NATAS Chairman Terry O’Reilly said in a statement. “Royal Blakeman was a part of the fabric of the broadcasting industry at its most burgeoning time. He helped shape how several Academies celebrate excellence across media today and for generations to come.”
Blakeman served as NATAS president from 1966 to 1968 having previously served as president of the New York chapter from 1963 to 1965. Founded in 1955, NATAS organizes and distributes the Daytime Emmys, as well as the Emmys for sports, news and documentaries.
Born June 9, 1923 in New York City, Blakeman was just over two months away from his 100th birthday. As a young man he served from 1942 to 1946 as part of the United States Maritime Service. Later, he would become a member of of the television committee Anti-Defamation League.
As an attorney, Blakeman focused on theatrical law and, for 25 years, served as general council to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (organizer of the Grammy awards).
Blakeman is survived by his daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter. A memorial service is planned for Tuesday, March 28 in Delray Beach, Florida. His family asks that donations be made in his name to the National Academy of Recording Artist & Sciences.