Home: West Los Angeles, California. Age: 82, but don’t look it. Birthplace: Los Angeles. Profession: Advertising creator, marketing advisor. Organization: Cliff Einstein Creative Concepts. Title: Owner. Significant other: Mandy, also my wife of nearly 60 years. Alma mater: UCLA. Languages spoken: English; Hebrew at certain high holidays; French to waiters.
Current project: Rebranding a major retailer, also introducing a celebrated furniture manufacturer to America. Recent recognition: My son told me I was smart last week. Latest accomplishment: Am becoming a noted collector of important folding knives. Latest contribution to others: Continued major support of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Otis College of Art and Design, both in Los Angeles. Hobbies: Contemporary art, high performance automobiles, important folding knives, food and wine, travel. Recent travel or adventure: Portugal before the Pandemic; Blade Show West, a short drive during this difficult time. Last book read: Nudge. Recently viewed and recommended: HBO documentary on Bob Einstein, my deceased brother. Will premier in late 2021. Recent unique acquisition: Painting by Jennifer Packer; Custom knife from Batosz Herman; Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
Personality profile: Funny, serious, interesting, interested. What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Memorable. Moral compass: Stay open to all things then choose the honorable path. How do you define a perfect friendship? You love that person even when you don’t like them. How do you define an ideal business relationship? You complete each other and feel sharing your income and accomplishments is more valuable than having it all to yourself. What is your greatest joy? Seeing something I created or did or made happen make someone’s life better. What is your greatest fear? Being afraid. What natural talent have you neglected? Being a stand up comedian. What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Being a stand up comedian. What is at the top of your bucket list? Being a stand up comedian. How do you relieve stress? Before Covid, going to a movie. Now, maintaining and sharpening a good knife. What is your idea of fun? A fast drive in a high performing automobile on an ever changing road in early morning light.
What’s the first and last thing you do each day? Look in the mirror when I get up and take comfort in liking myself. Fall asleep thinking I’m lucky to have Mandy and dreaming about something new to do tomorrow. What book have you repeatedly read? How to Communicate, written by my brother Charlie in 1984. What movie have you repeatedly watched? Face Off. I play the government surgeon who puts John Travolta’s face back on. Who has had the greatest influence on your life? My father and my son. What is the best advice you received growing up? Call the guy who hires you by his first name as soon as you can. What is the best advice you received in your career? Always get paid slightly less than you are worth. What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? WiFi and the double clutch automatic transmission. It’s a toss up. What is your favorite app? Kindle. What is your go-to source of news and information? The New York Times. What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? The end of the Korean War. I didn’t get drafted. What company or organization do you most admire? Amazon. Who in your working life brought you the most pleasure or satisfaction? Ernest Gallo and Ely Callaway as clients; Phil Joanou as a partner.
What is your big idea? Always pursue the big idea, even when it seems too big or too expensive. What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Making the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles indefinitely sustainable. What change would you like to see in the world? Differences of opinion becoming digestible. What message do you want to send out into the world? Others are not always to blame for your displeasure. What widely held belief do you reject? That election fraud was in any way present during the last US election. What mega-trend most excites you? You don’t need a college degree to succeed. What mega-trend most concerns you? Your friends are created through social media. What was your biggest contribution in your working life? Changing the way celebrities are used in advertising, by using John Wayne as a commercial spokesperson.
What title would you choose for the movie about your life? A Good Idea. What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Michael Keaton. Who would you like to spend an evening with, in Heaven? My dad. What object would you save first from your burning home? My dad’s watch. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Talking to my wife, my kids and my grandkids. What advice would you give your younger self? Believe that you will one day be 82 and okay. What day in your life would you like to re-live? The day I criticized our major client in public. What period in your life would you do differently if you could? Fighting dramatically with my mom when I was younger. What advice do you give your kids? Form a life of your own that makes you satisfied and happy. Don’t try and be me.
Personal mission: Do what I can to keep my wife healthy and happy. Try and stay clever. Personal motto: Everything you do connects to who you are. Desired epitaph: He made things better.