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Samuel Neaman

Philanthropist and Manager of Department Store Chains, Dies at 89

by Michael Aushenker

November 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

Samuel Neaman, philanthropist and former department store chain retailing manager, died in Oceanside on Nov. 13. He was 89.

The Israeli-born Neaman, who grew up in London and served in the British Army during World War II, ran such store chains as McCrory's, J.J. Newberry, S. Klein, Lerner's and Best & Co. His controversial business philosophy, which demanded that department store staff put their work ahead of their personal lives, was the subject of Isadore Barmash's 1976 book "For the Good of the Company."

Neaman became a chief benefactor of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, where he endowed the Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology in 1978.

"He was not just passionate about Israel but passionate about its future," said Phyllis Hoffman, director of American Technion Society's (ATS) San Diego chapter.

He was also the president and board vice chairman of the ATS and for five years served as deputy chairman of the institute's international board.

"Most people who met Sam were in awe of him," Hoffman said. "He never liked small talk. But he adored people. He loved to laugh."

Neaman is survived by his brother, Yfrah, who lives in London.

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