Forbes - - Front Page -

AN EX­TRA­OR­DI­NARY MAN, Leon H. Char­ney, died re­cently at age 77. His life story was the kind that would have thrilled Abraham Lin­coln: a man who rose from the hum­blest of be­gin­nings to achieve great suc­cess and, in do­ing so, en­riched and bet­tered the lives of count­less other peo­ple.

Char­ney grew up poor, and his strug­gling fa­ther died young. Nonethe­less, Char­ney put him­self through col­lege and law school, in no small part from the earn­ings he made as a can­tor. He then built a very suc­cess­ful law prac­tice, spe­cial­iz­ing in sports and en­ter­tain­ment and rep­re­sent­ing such clients as Sammy Davis Jr. and Jackie Ma­son.

But it was in New York City real es­tate that Char­ney made his for­tune. His big open­ing came in 1980, when he bought the sto­ried Times Square build­ing from

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