HITS Daily Double

Legendary Promo Man Pete Bennett Passes

PETE BENNETT, 77, who worked with The Beatles, Rolling Stones and many major celebrities, has died of a heart attack. Dubbed "The World's No. 1 Promotion Man," the Bronx-born Pietro Benedetto worked with many of the British Invasion acts of the '60s, joining the Beatles' new Apple Records in 1967 as Promotions Manager. He eventually worked with all four members of the band in their solo careers, including George Harrison on his 1971 Concert for Bangladesh. Bennett also helped broker John Lennon and Yoko Ono's legendary weeklong co-hosting stint on The Mike Douglas Show. He worked with celebrities like Frank Sinatra, George Burns, Nat King Cole, John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor and many others. "I make unknowns into stars and stars into superstars," he said. Bennett turned then-Sire Records head Seymour Stein onto a teenage Steven Tyler, who signed him and the group which later became Aerosmith. He took credit for negotiating the Jacksons' exit from Motown to Epic in 1976 and claimed that his discovery of a carpenter named Harrison Ford , who was working on George Lucas' offices, led to Ford's audition for his starring role in Star Wars. Bennett is survived by Annette, his wife of 47 years, and sons Peter and Joseph. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Heart Association. (11/27a)