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Samuel Levy (March 17, 1876 – March 15, 1953) was an American lawyer, businessman, and public official, who served as Manhattan Borough President.

Life and careerEdit

Levy was born in New York City on March 17, 1876, to a Jewish family. He graduated from the University of the City of New York (now New York University) in 1894 and received a law degree from New York Law School in 1896. In addition to maintaining a law practice, Levy was a successful businessman, with his primary interests being real estate investment and development.[1][2]

A Democrat, he served on the New York Board of Education from 1929 to 1931.[3]

In 1931, Levy was appointed to complete an unexpired term as Manhattan Borough President.[4][5][6] He won election to a full four-year term in 1933.[7] Levy considered a run for Mayor in 1937.[8][9] He instead backed Senator Royal S. Copeland for Mayor, and sought the nomination for New York City Council President in the Democratic and Republican primaries. He was defeated by Newbold Morris in the Republican primary and also lost his bid for the Democratic nomination.

After leaving office, Levy returned to his legal and business interests.[10][11]

Levy was also involved in several educational and civic causes, including serving as Chairman of the Yeshiva University Board of Trustees.[12][13]

Levy died in New York City on March 15, 1953.[14][15][16] He was married to Sadie (Vesell).[17] His son, Lawrence, married Beta Rothafel, the daughter of theatrical impresario and entrepreneur Samuel Roxy Rothafel. Through his granddaughter, Penny (Levy), Samuel is the great-grandfather of actress Amanda Peet.[18]


  1. ^ Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Inc., The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Volume 7, 1942, page 17
  2. ^ General Contractors Association of New York, Annual Bulletin, Volume 22, 1931, page 17
  3. ^ New York Times, Samuel Levy Gets School Post, December 17, 1929
  4. ^ New York Times, Samuel Levy Picked for Borough Head by Curry and Mayor, January 16, 1931
  5. ^ Rochester Evening Journal, Samuel Levy Picked as Manhattan Head, January 16, 1931
  6. ^ New York Times, Levy is Elected Borough President, January 17, 1931
  7. ^ Milwaukee Sentinel, LaGuardia, Reform Candidate, is Elected Mayor of New York, November 7, 1933
  8. ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle, Each One Would Like to be Mayor of Gotham, July 20, 1937
  9. ^ Montreal Gazette, Two Groups Unite to Defeat Whalen, July 22, 1937
  10. ^ New York Times, Samuel Levy Buys Wall St. Offices, December 27, 1940
  11. ^ New York Times, Samuel Levy Buys Sixth Ave. Corner, October 1, 1942
  12. ^ New York Times, Yeshiva Fund is Planned, May 8, 1948
  13. ^ New York Times, Lawyer Is Elected Head Of Trustees of Yeshiva, December 21, 1953
  14. ^ Brooklyn Eagle, Samuel Levy, Boro President of Manhattan for Five Years, March 16, 1953
  15. ^ New York Times, Samuel Levy Dies, March 16, 1953
  16. ^ New York Times, Samuel Levy Memorial Rites, April 13, 1953
  17. ^
  18. ^
Political offices
Preceded by
Julius Miller
Borough President of Manhattan
Succeeded by
Stanley M. Isaacs