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Real estate 'giant' Sheldon Katz dead at 69.

Sheldon C. Katz, former head of Katz Realty Group and long-time Rent Stabilization Association chairman, passed away on Jan. 18 from cardiac arrest. Katz was 69 years old.

A life-long property owner and a devoted New Yorker, Katz will be most remembered for his efforts on behalf of small building owners.

He founded the Community Housing Improvement Program, an owner trade organization, and served as chairman of the Rent Stabilization Association from 1977 to 1997.

According to Katz' son, Lennard, who serves as principal of the family-founded Katz Realty, his father kept working on behalf of the industry even during his battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease.

"He was not somebody who put things off, he got things accomplished," said Lennard Katz. "Even when he became very sick, he remained active in the Community Housing Improvement Program and the real estate industry. He led a very active life, never wanted to sit around."

A second-generation American, Katz became involved in real estate when he joined his father's small business in the late 1950's.

In 1963, he and his brother, Leon, started Katz Realty Group, which now includes 25 buildings throughout Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

His colleagues at the Rent Stabilization Association feel that Katz' efforts to help small building owners stemmed from his desire to help those who were just starting out in the business.

"The real estate industry has lost one of its giants," said Frank Ricci, the organization's director of government affairs. "He always cared deeply about owners and property rights and made it a point to fight for them."

"Sheldon Katz was beloved by the entire industry," said Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association.

"He has left an indelible mark on this industry and his voice will always be heard."

In addition to his involvement with trade organizations, Katz was an active member of Israel Bonds, the Anti-Defamation League and the ALS Association. He has also served as vice president of the National Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Katz is survived by his wife Deana, his children Lennard Katz, Sari A. Earl and Nanci D. Katz, and his grandchildren Danielle, Aaron, Matthew and Ava.
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Author:Misonzhnik, Elaine
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 28, 2004
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