Industrialist and arts patron Samuel J. LeFrak, chairman of the Lefrak Organization, died April 16 in his Manhattan home after a long illness. He was 85.
His LeFrak Entertainment Company has developed and produced records, Broadway plays, musicals, TV productions, and motion pictures, and is a book and music publisher as well.
Founded in 1901, the parent company is among the largest private building firms in the world, with particular emphases on affordable housing and community development.
The outspoken and flamboyant LeFrak was proud of such developments as Lefrak City, Battery Park City and Newport in the New York Metropolitan area. He created scores of buildings, and communities, and his “Total Living” concepts have been imitated throughout the United States and the world.
A significant area of his Company’s interests lie in oil and gas exploration throughout the United States, undertaken by LOGO, the Lefrak Oil and Gas Organization.
He was also a prominent art collector.
Among his many other duties, he was an advisory director of the Metropolitan Opera; a trustee of the Guggenheim Museum; a member of the Board of Trustees of the Queens College Foundation; and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School.
A graduate of the U. of Maryland, he pursued postgraduate studies at Columbia and Harvard and was awarded honorary doctoral degrees from numerous college and universities.
He is survived by wife Ethel Stone LeFrak, four children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Contributions can be made to: The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1 Gustave Levy Place, Box 1049, New York, New York 10029.