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Arthur Zankel, 73; Real Estate Investor, Carnegie Hall Benefactor

July 30, 2005|From Associated Press

Arthur Zankel, the financier who gave $10 million for the Carnegie Hall recital space that bears his name, plunged to his death from his ninth-floor apartment in New York City in an apparent suicide, police said Friday. He was 73.

Zankel, Carnegie Hall's vice chairman, died Thursday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital after apparently jumping from his Fifth Avenue apartment, New York Police Det. Noel Waters said. Zankel jumped about 11 a.m. Thursday and landed in a rear courtyard, Waters said.

A member of the Citigroup Inc. Board of Directors from 1986 until last year, Zankel specialized in real estate investment through his firm, High Rise Capital Management. He served as a co-managing partner of First Manhattan Co. for almost 20 years, until 1997.

Sanford Weill, chairman of Citigroup and of Carnegie Hall's board of trustees, called Zankel "my closest friend and advisor."

He was being treated for severe depression, Weill said in a telephone interview.

Zankel's donation helped fund the $100-million venue at Carnegie Hall that opened in 2003. Zankel Hall fulfilled Andrew Carnegie's original vision of three performance spaces at the complex, offering an intimate venue -- with seats for about 600, compared with 2,804 in the Isaac Stern Auditorium.

Weill, for whom Carnegie Hall's third venue -- the 268-seat Joan and Sanford I. Weill Recital Hall -- is named in part, said he and Zankel met through a mutual friend 48 years ago. "We liked each other from the very first meeting. Our relationship became stronger and stronger" personally and professionally, he said.

His friend loved that Zankel Hall brought together musicians from all over the world, Weill said.

"He loved reaching out to young people" and broadening "outreach in areas of education and all kinds of music all over the world," Weill added. "He and his wife, Judy, shared that passion."

A native New Yorker, Zankel earned a bachelor of science degree at the University of Pennsylvania and a master's in business administration from Harvard.

In addition to his wife, survivors include four sons from a previous marriage, two grandchildren and two brothers.

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