Of all the impressive accomplishments that Howard Gittis, Esq., achieved during his lifetime—and there were many—perhaps the one that remains the most professionally captivating was the deep bond of mentorship between Gittis and Ronald Perelman, the billionaire financier and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. He spent 22 years with MacAndrews & Forbes, which has investments in consumer products and entertainment companies, including Revlon Inc. At the firm, Gittis supervised all legal, financial, and administrative affairs as chief administrative officer.
During his career, Gittis also worked at Jones Apparel Group, M&F Worldwide, Panavision, Revlon, REV Holdings, and Scientific Games. Before making his way into the C-suite, Gittis came from much humbler beginnings—he was the son of Russian immigrants.
Gittis attended Central High School, just a few miles north of Temple. He received both a bachelor’s degree in economics and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
As a young lawyer, Gittis became a Philadelphia fixture, litigating for 25 years at the law firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen. While there, he focused on real estate, and corporate acquisition, along with divestiture work. As a partner at the firm, he also served as chairman of the executive committee.
Gittis dabbled in politics. He served Philadelphia mayor Frank L. Rizzo during his recall attempt in the mid-1970s, and as the national finance co-chair for Senator John McCain’s (R-Ariz) presidential campaign in 2007.