'Last Word' Pays Homage To Actor James Gandolfini

Gandolfini, who died this week while vacationing in Italy, became famous for his role in The Sopranos. Tony Soprano, the mob boss, described his job as "waste management consultant." Call it what you want, but on the job, Tony Soprano had plenty of business insights.

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All right. Our last word in business today comes from Tony Soprano, and the word is: Family Business. It's our homage to actor James Gandolfini, who died this week while vacationing in Italy.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Gandolfini became famous for his role in "The Sopranos." Tony Soprano, the mob boss, described his job as waste management consultant.

INSKEEP: Call it what you want, but on the job, Tony Soprano had plenty of business insights.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW. "THE SOPRANOS")

JAMES GANDOLFINI: (as Tony Soprano) What two businesses have traditionally been recession proof since time immemorial?

STEVEN VAN ZANDT: (Silvio Dante) Certain aspects of show business and our thing.

INSKEEP: Whatever your thing may be, you may have something to learn from Tony Soprano.

MONTAGNE: Anthony Schneider, who wrote a book called "Tony Soprano on Management," says the character has certain vision and a distinct approach to his employees.

ANTHONY SCHNEIDER: He - everyone called him Uncle Tony, whether related to him or not, and that's a big thing in management. He took a long time to manage people, spent a lot of time thinking about people. And he wasn't afraid to squeeze, and he would squeeze a business plan, and he would certainly squeeze those people who worked with him or for him - and as we all know, squeeze even a little bit harder if they worked against him.

INSKEEP: And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. We have many great people working with us, here, and sometimes working under deadline. They do get a little squeezed.

MONTAGNE: That's right. They do, Steve.

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