From the mid-1960s, Barry Diller's influence on both American entertainment and business was singular and substantial. The son of a California real estate developer, Diller grew up understanding business. He dropped out of UCLA after a single semester to work his way up from the mailroom of the William Morris agency. In 1964, Diller jumped to the ABC network, and quickly rose to vice president of programming. In that capacity, he pioneered the made-for-television film format with ABC's "Movie of the Week" series (1969-1976). After injecting vitality into the struggling network, Diller went on to rescue the struggling Paramount Pictures, overseeing an era that produced such hits as "Saturday Night Fever" (1977), "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981), and "Cheers" (NBC, 1982-1993). He repeated this success with the faltering studio Twentieth Century-Fox, for whom he launched the Fox Broadcasting network with Rupert Murdoch. As legendary as his success was his management style, which was described as hostile and even abusive. Despite this, Diller accrued a dedicated following of executives that he mentored who emulated his style, including Dawn Steel, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner - a group informally referred to as "the Killer Dillers." Diller left Fox to build his own conglomerate of television and on-line assets including QVC, USA Network, Expedia.com, and the Lycos Internet portal, while also serving as Director of Coca-Cola and the Washington Post Company. Barry Diller embodied the ideal of the American executive: aggressive, innovative and ultimately successful.