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Real estate great George V. Comfort dies at 86.

Long-time city investor and owner, George V. Comfort, died on March 27 at the age of 86 after a brief illness. A well-known and highly respected member of the New York real estate community for over 65 years, Comfort guided the family firm into investments with Harry Helmsley, John and Henry Loeb, Larry Wien, Stanley Stahl and David Baldwin.

Over the years, George Comfort & Sons made investments in such properties as 200 Madison Avenue, where the firm has its offices, 30 Broad Street, 40 Wall Street and Industry City. More recently, together with Loeb Partners, they invested in 63 Madison on the edge of the Flat Iron District and at 498 Seventh Avenue in the Garment Center. By securing Ted Bates advertising from the Chrysler Building, 498 Seventh helped establish hot new office area from what had been previously relegated to fashion showrooms.

Joseph Lesser, general partner of Loeb Partners Realty, a diversified real estate company described Comfort as one of the "brilliant" real estate people in New York.

"He was a partner and a good friend in many of our successful transactions over the years," said Lesser. "He was a wonderful gentleman, first class, and honest. He was a good friend of John and Henry Loeb, as well as being a partner in many, many successful ventures."

Comfort was educated at the Horace Mann School in Riverdale and was attending Harvard College during the Great Depression before joining his father, George Comfort, in the family business.

Except for military service as a naval aviator and Lt. Commander during World War II, Comfort spent his entire business career in New York real estate.

Along with investing with other real estate greats, Comfort carried out special projects for the Ford Foundation, Pan American Airways and Collins & Aikman, and was a real estate consultant to Chemical Bank, Lehman Bros., Bankers Trust and the Port Authority.

Comfort's guidance was also valued by the business community, where he was a director of Philip Morris, MONY, Apple Bank, General Cable, Sperry & Hutchinson, Mission Viejo, Sifco and Burns International Security.

A member of the Real Estate Board of New York, his charity work included the Chairmanship of the Museum of the American Indian. He was also a trustee of the New York University Medical Center, Phelps Memorial Hospital, Briarcliff College and the Canterbury School.

Comfort resided with his wife, Lee Morrison Comfort, in Briarcliff Manor, where they lived for many years. He is also survived by three sons, Lyn, Lee and Dana, an executive vice president with George Comfort & Sons; a daughter, Sharon Saunders; and ten grandchildren.

The funeral was held on March 29th at St. Augustine's R.C. Church in Ossining.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Apr 5, 2000
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