Jerry Gottesman, co-founder and chairman of Newark-based Edison Properties, died Sunday at age 87, NJBIZ has exclusively learned.
A Newark native and Morristown resident, Gottesman died of natural causes while visiting Israel. He will be flown back to New Jersey for burial, according to an Edison spokesperson.
Edison controls more than 3 million square feet of property in Manhattan and Brooklyn and several million more square feet in Newark — including six sites near the Prudential center that are slated for more than 400,000 square feet of mixed-use development — Baltimore and other major cities. The company employs close to 600 people.
Gottesman was said to be one of the largest donors to Jewish educational institutions in the U.S. including a significant gift to build a new school building and expanded campus for the Gottesman RTW Academy (the former Hebrew Academy of Morris County) in Randolph. At the time of his death, Gottesman's net worth exceeded $550 million, according to the spokesperson, who added that he "left a substantial part of his estate to charities."
Edison Properties previously established a succession plan and the company is being professionally managed by its executive management team.
"Edison Properties will continue to operate without interruption," the spokesperson said. "Mr. Gottesman always conducted himself in an honorable way, and he will be greatly missed by his family, friends, associates and others who were fortunate enough to know him."
Gottesman is survived by Paula Rachlin Gottesman, his wife of 55 years. His wife, a retired attorney, played an active role as Gottesman most influential and trusted advisor in their shared business and philanthropic endeavors. Gottesman is also survived by four daughters and their spouses; and 17 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.