Michael J. Fox, whose new TV show debuts tonight on NBC, is back.
At least that’s the theme of interviewers as Fox makes promotional rounds on the talk shows.
Yet despite the challenges of Parkinson’s disease, which he has battled for more than two decades, Fox never went away.
Michael J. Fox
Through his nonprofit, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, he has built an impressive network of big names and big money.
As the interactive Muckety map above shows, board members include his wife, actress Tracy Pollan, actor Ryan Reynolds and MSNBC’s Willie Geist, whose interview of Fox aired on “Morning Joe” Friday.
Perhaps more importantly for the mission of the foundation - to accelerate treatments and ultimately find a cure, some of New York’s financial kingpins also hold board seats.
Many come to the board not only because of Fox’s magnetism, but because family members have the disease.
David Einhorn, founder of Greenlight Capital, is a director. His grandfather had Parkinson’s.
The disease also has struck members of the Golub family. David Golub, vice chairman of Golub Capital, is a director of Fox’s foundation, as is his sister-in-law, Karen Finerman.
Finerman and her husband, Lawrence E. Golub, gave $500,000 in 2011 to the New York Stem Cell Foundation to establish the Golub Stem Cell Initiative for Parkinson’s disease.
The Fox foundation raised more than $67 million last year through donations, event sponsorships and fundraisers. Its annual gala, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s,” attracts A-list performers and presenters.
Here’s Fox with Elvis Costello, in an appearance at the 2012 gala: