Owner of One Times Square and 1441 Broadway had assembled 1.5 million square feet of commercial space in the city.
Leon Charney, a billionaire owner of Manhattan real estate and supporter of Israel who became a familiar face to viewers of New York City public television, has died. He was 77.
He died March 21, according to an online death notice. No cause was given.
The son of a sewing-supplies salesman, Charney assembled a real-estate portfolio that included three skyscrapers in Times Square, including 1441 Broadway, and a total of 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, according to Forbes magazine, which estimates his current net worth at $1 billion. His first purchase, in 1980, was One Times Square, the wedge-shaped building famous each New Year’s Eve for hosting the glittering ball that descends at midnight.
Starting in 1988, Charney hosted The Leon Charney Report on WNYC, New York City’s public-TV network. The one-hour interview show focused heavily on Middle East and Jewish affairs, with a guest list that included former Israeli Prime Ministers Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak, as well as former New York City Mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins and Rudolph Giuliani.