Solomon Pritt of 350-E Lakewood Circle, Margate, FL, passed away peacefully Wednesday night, January 28, at age 93 after a long illness. A longtime resident of New York City, where he was born and raised, in 1990 Sol moved with his wife Sylvia to Florida, where he continued to work as a buyer and salesman until age 87. He was greatly beloved by family, friends and co-workers for his humor, compassion, zest for life and good heart. Sol was widely regarded as a pioneer and legend in the novelty, magic and costume industry. After running his own manufacturing/import business for many years, he joined New York-based Franco-American Novelty Co., another manufacturer and importer, in the late 1960s as its head buyer and salesman. A warm and gregarious person with a tireless work ethic, he traveled the world in search of novelty and costume items that would add laughter and fun to our lives. His keen eye for such items helped make Franco-American a leader in its industry for decades. He was welcomed with great affection by customers and suppliers wherever he went. Television stars tapped Sol's expertise in the joke and gag field. David Letterman once interviewed him on air at a New York trade show while Jon Stewart of the Daily Show sent a reporter to his home in Florida to ask him about whoopee cushions in a hilarious segment that aired in 2001. He reveled in demonstrating popular gag items like the hand buzzer, invisible ink, "rat in the trap" and snakes that jump out of a can. Part of the "Greatest Generation" that defended the free world in World War II, Sol was stationed at Guam in the U.S. Air Force and flew 27 missions in the Pacific theatre as a bombardier until the war ended, earning several medals for bravery and retiring as a First Lieutenant. During one mission, for which he was awarded an Air Medal, his B-29 plane was shot down and made an emergency landing on Iwo Jima. Sol leaves behind his wife Sylvia; sisters Doris Herstone and Ruth Greenberg; sons Michael Garry and wife Maureen, and Steve Buttolph and wife Sandi; step-children Gail Stone, David Stone and his wife Peggy, and Deborah Elster and her husband Alan; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He will be deeply missed. Funeral will be held Friday, Jan. 31, at 1:45 at the Star of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery and Funeral Chapel, North Lauderdale, FL. Donations in Sol Pritt's name can be made to the Jewish Federation of Broward.
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Published in Sun-Sentinel on Jan. 30, 2014