Bernard Spitzer

Bernard Emmanuel Spitzer (April 26, 1924 – November 1, 2014) was an American real estate developer and philanthropist.

Bernard Spitzer
Bernard Emmanuel Spitzer

April 26, 1924
DiedNovember 1, 2014(2014-11-01) (aged 90)
NationalityUnited States
EducationB.S. City College of New York
Occupationreal estate developer
Net worth$500 million (2008)
Spouse(s)Anne Goldhaber
ChildrenEmily Spitzer
Daniel Spitzer
Eliot Spitzer
Parent(s)Molly and Morris Spitzer

Early life and educationEdit

Spitzer was born to Molly and Morris Spitzer, Jewish Austrian immigrants[1] from Tulste, Poland (now Ukraine) to New York's Lower East Side after World War I. They operated a print shop. Bernard received an engineering degree from City College of New York in 1943[2] at the age of 18.

Spitzer initially tried his hand at civil engineering but turned instead to real estate development (under Spitzer Engineering).[3] Spitzer was based in New York City where he operated apartment buildings and built several landmark buildings around the city including The Corinthian, which was the largest individual apartment building in New York City when it was built.

Real estate developerEdit

Among the buildings Spitzer has built are:

His New York buildings are leased by his subsidiary Urbana Properties, created in 2005.

In addition, Spitzer purchased several prominent commercial properties over the years, including:

The Crown Building
  • 730 Fifth Avenue (The Crown Building or Heckscher Building), New York City, a two-floor neo-classical office building completed in 1921 by Warren & Wetmore and acquired in 1991 for $95 million.
  • 2001 K Street (William P. Rogers Building), NW, Washington, D.C., 11-floor commercial and retail building completed in 2000 for $69 million and acquired in 2001 for $95 million.
  • 1615 L Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 13-floor post-modern glass curtain wall commercial building completed in 1984 and acquired in 2009 for $180 million.
  • 4800 Hampden Lane (One Bethesda Center), Bethesda, Maryland, 13-floor commercial and retail complex completed in 1986 and acquired in 2011 for $90 million.
  • 350 West Broadway, New York, NY, 11,000 sf, two-story, retail property acquired in 2013.



In 2007, Governor Eliot Spitzer (son of Bernard) appointed Dale Hemmerdinger president of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Before being confirmed for that position, Hemmerdinger had to resign from the all-white, mostly Jewish Harmonie Club. It was then revealed that Bernard had been a member of the club for more than 30 years.[8]

Also in August 2007, Republican strategist Roger Stone was accused of leaving this message on Bernard's office answering machine during the "Troopergate" scandal in which his son Eliot was accused of using state troopers to spy on Majority Leader of the New York State Senate Joseph Bruno: "This is a message for Bernard Spitzer. You will be subpoenaed to testify before the Senate committee on investigations on your shady campaign loans. You will be compelled by the Senate sergeant at arms. If you resist this subpoena, you will be arrested and brought to Albany. And there's not a goddamn thing your phony, psycho, piece-of-shit son can do about it. Bernie, your phony loans are about to catch up with you. You will be forced to tell the truth. And the fact that your son's a pathological liar will be known to all."[9] Stone initially denied involvement but eventually resigned as a consultant to the New York State Senate Republican Campaign Committee, at the request of Joseph Bruno.

Personal life and deathEdit

He was married to Anne Goldhaber whom he courted in the Catskills. They had three children: daughter Emily Spitzer (born 1955), a lawyer, Daniel Spitzer (born 1957), a neurosurgeon, and Eliot Spitzer (born 1959), former New York Governor. According to biographers, during a game of Monopoly between father and son, the elder Spitzer would order his seven- or eight-year-old son, Eliot, to sell him a piece of property, which, later in the game, the future governor could not afford. In this way the father taught his son: "Never defer to authority."[10] To support Eliot's foray into politics, Bernard made a loan to his son of $5 million during the first two campaigns and paid him $200,000 per year. As of 2006, the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust had donated at least $140,000 to organizations led by political allies.[11]

Bernard Spitzer died on November 1, 2014, from Parkinson's disease at the age of 90.[1][12] As of 2008, he had an estimated net worth of $500 million.[13] He left each of his three children $50 million and donated $250 million to the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable trust.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Bernard Spitzer, father of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, dies at 90 - The real estate investor and philanthropist had been battling Parkinson's disease, according to a spokesman" by Annie Karni, New York Daily News, November 2, 2014.
  3. ^ Spoiling for a Fight: The Rise of Eliot Spitzer by Brooke A. Masters. Times Books, 2006, ISBN 0-8050-7961-0.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Bernard Spitzer -
  6. ^ Luxury rental is underway - new condominium building to rise in East 57th St., New York, NY Real Estate Weekly, Oct 15, 1997
  7. ^ Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins Archived April 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Spitzer's Father Is Member of Harmonie". New York Sun. October 26, 2007.
  9. ^ "Hardball with Chris Matthews" for August 22 - August 23, 2007 -
  10. ^ Was Spitzer Destined to Fall? Time Magazine, March 13, 2008.
  11. ^ "Helping hand from dad". Newsday, February 15, 2006.
  12. ^ Emma G. Fitzsimmons, "Bernard Spitzer, New York Developer and Philanthropist Dies at 90", The New York Times, November 4, 2014.
  13. ^ David B. Caruso. "Disgraced NY Governor Won't Need New Job". Archived from the original on 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2008-03-15.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). Forbes. Associated Press. March 12, 2008.