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Milton Parker

Owner of N.Y.'s Carnegie Deli

February 09, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Milton Parker, 90, the longtime owner of New York's famous Carnegie Deli, renowned for its gargantuan pastrami, tongue and chopped liver sandwiches with such names as "Nova on Sunday" and "50 Ways to Love Your Liver," died Jan. 31 in Queens of respiratory problems, said his daughter, Marian Levine.

His family says nothing will change at the legendary deli in Manhattan's Theater District, where Woody Allen filmed scenes for "Broadway Danny Rose."

Over the years, the restaurant has developed a devoted following for its oversized sandwiches stuffed with meat, some costing more than $20 and named after celebrities including comedian Henny Youngman.

Parker was born Jan. 10, 1919, in Brooklyn, where he grew up working in diners. He later ran a coffee shop on Long Island.

He and two partners bought the Carnegie Deli from its previous owners in 1976. One partner sold his share, and a second, Leo Steiner, died in 1987. Parker, whose business card said Milton Parker CPM -- for Corned Beef and Pastrami Maven -- retired in 2002 and turned the business over to his son-in-law.

Parker's daughter said her father loved to eat and used to say that he wanted to die with a hot dog in his mouth. So at his memorial Monday, she held up one of his beloved foot-long frankfurters and said: "This is for you, Dad. Enjoy this hot dog."

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