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Eli Black

AKA Elihu Menashe Blachowitz

Born: 9-Apr-1921
Birthplace: Poland
Died: 3-Feb-1975
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Suicide

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Swan dive onto Park Avenue

Eli Black had been an ordained rabbi for three years before turning to investment banking, eventually becoming CEO of a bottlecap seal manufacturer which he grew by acquisition. In 1969 it merged with United Fruit Company, which he renamed United Brands. The company had a bad year in 1974, suffering losses of $40M (on $2B sales) while building up debt, its plantations ravaged by Hurricane Fifi. One morning in February, Black leaped to his death from his 44th floor office in the Pan Am building. Anticipating an SEC investigation, United Brands admitted that it had bribed a Honduran official $1.25M in exchange for reduced export taxes on bananas.

Wife: Shirley Lubell (artist)
Son: Leon Black (Apollo Management billionaire)
Daughter: Judy Nadler

    University: BA, Yeshiva University (1940)
    Administrator: Trustee, Babson College

    United Brands CEO (1970-75)
    AMK Corporation CEO (1965-70)
    American Seal-Kap Corporation CEO (1954-65)
    American Securities Corporation (-1954)
    Lehman Brothers (1940s)
    Member of the Board of AMK Corporation (as Chairman 1965-70)
    Member of the Board of American Seal-Kap Corporation (1953-65, as Chairman 1954-65)
    American Jewish Committee Trustee
    Business Committee for the Arts
    Federation of Jewish Philanthropies Trustee
    Jewish Guild for the Blind Trustee
    Jewish Museum (New York) Trustee
    Lincoln Center Trustee
    The Saturday Review Board of Directors
    Polish Ancestry


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