{ "" }
Share MURRAY's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
LENDER, MURRAY, a bagel baker, food executive and philanthropist, who helped bring the Bagel to kitchens across the nation, died yesterday at the age of 81. Along with his two brothers, Marvin and Sam, Murray turned the dream of bagelizing America into a reality through the process of freezing the bagel, which the family pioneered in the early sixties. He was born into the family business, which his father started in 1927 upon his arrival from Poland. Murray began counting bagels in their backyard bakery before he was eleven. By the time he finished high school he had learned all about bakery production and delivery. Upon graduating from the Junior College of Commerce, with a degree in business (now Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Connecticut), he spent two years in the U.S. Army Military Police Corp, and entered the family business, which was still in their backyard garage, on a full time basis in 1955. Being specifically responsible for marketing and sales for Lender's, Murray had to make the most of a non-existent budget. He was a food marketing innovator and he took what was formerly only an ethnic product and made it a national staple, available to all. In 1963, Lender's introduced a branded retail pack of frozen bagels and the bagel boom was on. Murray saw frozen foods, which was a new category of products, as an opportunity for greater distribution and expanding the market to new users. He popularized "cross promotions" as he partnered with many of the day's popular breakfast staples. In exchange for advertising on their bags, Lender's could be seen on a range of products from Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Parkay, Welches, Smucker's, and Minute Maid. Free publicity was also a key to their success. Murray could be seen presenting a life- sized bagel on the Tonight Show to Johnny Carson, or on Capitol Hill presenting Tip O'Neill with a giant green bagel on St. Patrick's Day. As the company grew, so did their advertising budget, and it was TV campaigns that helped spread the word. Whether in animated form, or live, lying on the bread shelf in the supermarket, there wasn't much that Murray wouldn't do to sell his product. Lender's Bagels was sold to Kraft food in 1985, but Murray remained with the company to continue his work as spokesman. Murray was forever passionate about the concept of frozen foods and became involved in all associations directed at strengthening its image. He was Chairman of the National Frozen Food Association (NFFA), as well as the chairman of the 50th Anniversary of Frozen Foods, a national promotion staged in 1980. He pioneered and co- chaired the first National Frozen Food Month in March of 1984, an industry wide month of promotional retail and foodservice activity among frozen food manufacturers. Murray would never go a day dressed without a penguin - the frozen food marketing symbol - whether it be a tie, a pin, socks or a hat. He was recognized by this industry with numerous awards throughout his lifetime. In more recent years, Murray has directed his focus toward philanthropic work, and his energy and creative thinking have has a major impact on anything he undertook, particularly in his hometown of New Haven. Active in both the local Jewish community, as well as his Alma Mater, Quinnipiac University, Murray's influence can be seen throughout the city, which has recognized him with a school playground in his name, the ADL Torch of Liberty Award, and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Quinnipiac University , to name a few. He currently resides in Aventura, Florida, formerly of Woodbridge, Connecticut. Murray was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Rose Lender, his two sisters, Anna and Helen, and his two brothers Hymen and Samuel. Murray is survived by his wife, Gilda Winnick Lender of Aventura; daughter & son-in-law Haris Lender & Evan Cohn, St. Petersburg, FL; son Carl Lender, Sunrise, FL; son Jay Lender, Los Angeles, CA; eight grandchildren, one brother, Marvin Lender, Naples, FL; and numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at Congregation B'Nai Jacob in Woodbridge CT Sunday, March 25th at 2:00 PM. A period of mourning will be observed at 7 Country Club Drive Woodbridge CT on Monday and Tuesday between 1 PM and 4 PM and Monday and Tuesday between 6:30 and 8:30 PM. The Family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, Quinnipiac University, The American Heart Association or ADL. View this Guest Book at www.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in the Miami Herald on Mar. 23, 2012.
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
50 entries
April 4, 2012
I worked for the Lender brothers back in the early 80's. Never met Sam, however Murray and Marvin were the best. Have never found the same working environment since. Prayers, love and thoughts to Murray's entire family. Carol, Oxford CT
Carol Mastersanti
March 30, 2012
May the God of all comfort be with your family at this time.( Psalms 46:1)
M Milord
March 30, 2012
Murray Lender bought great joy to me and my family. I was saddened to read of the loss of Murray Lender. May all the warm and special memories you shared with your dear loved one stay with you and bring you comfort through all the days ahead. – 2 Cor. 1:3
March 29, 2012
Hi I send condolences to the family because he was as Leviticus 19:18 says that Love your fellow as yourself. And his giving habits must have surely stood out.
March 27, 2012
Rest in peace. I thank you for the bagels I just enjoyed, and have enjoyed for half a century!
Glendon Kushner
March 27, 2012
Our Deepest Sympathy to the Lender family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
The Broderick Family
LGB, Inc.
Leigh, Dorothy,Gardner &Jamie Broderick
March 26, 2012
Dear Carl & Family,
Not sure if u will remember me from Pearson Hall @ UM. But sorry to hear about ur loss. Also if recall my mom Myrna and Aunt Helene Samuels knew ur dad well since they grew up in New Haven.

sorry again,
Marty Heller
March 25, 2012
Our sincerest condolences to Murray lender's family on his recent passing. He was a man filled with great humor.his warmth will always be remembered.
Our thoughts are with you at this time.
Bobbie and Steve Ruff
Boca Raton Florida
March 25, 2012
It was one of our greatest pleasures in life to know Murray for the past 60 years!!!! Murray Lender, always the GENTLEMAN!!!! Rest In Peace.

Gloria and the late Anthony Onofrio
Gloria Onofrio
March 25, 2012
A true renaissance man - Murray, you will be missed. Heartfelt condolences to the entire Lender family. Debbie Roumeles
March 25, 2012
When I lived in Texas during the late 197's the only bagel in the state were frozen Lender's bagels in the base PX. They didn't taste too bad and I was glad to have them! RIP Mr. Lender.
E Neal
March 25, 2012
With deepest sympathy to the Lender family and thanks for all the good work that you have done and continue to do.
David S. Fischer, MD
March 24, 2012
With deepest sympathy to the Lender family during your time of sorrow...Psalm 46:1...God is for us a refuge and strength, A help that is readily to be found during difficult times...May God provide you with peace and comfort to endure the days ahead.
March 24, 2012
Living in Maine in the 1970's, I was so homesick for a little bit of my NY home. Thank goodness for Lenders. I still enjoy them as often as I can.
Rest in Peace and thank you...
March 24, 2012
To the Lender family and friends, I wanted to extend my deepest sympathy. My family and I love those bagels. I know he will be missed dearly. May you all find strength in your faith, comfort in each other...James 4;8..Draw close to God and he will draw close to you.
March 24, 2012
Both my late husband Bob and myself always thought a lot of Murray. He was so pleasant My sympathy to the Lender family. He will rest in peace and be remembered for years to come.

Liliane Kopplin
March 24, 2012
Sending sympathy your way. Love that Mr. Lender was so giving. We need more people like this in the US.
March 24, 2012
Our deepest condolences to Murray's family and friends. We will think of him every time we bite into a Bagel.
Michael & Lisa Arkin
March 24, 2012
I did not know Mr. Lender but had it not been for him, I never woud have had a bagel as a kid. They were not very prevelant in Maine. In short, he was a man blessed with a vision that brought simple pleasures to a world so in need of it today...and his ads were great too. Shalom

Craig Poulin
Palermo, Maine
March 24, 2012
So sorry to hear that the king of bagels in the U.S. has died. As a young child, I remember going into the bakery in New Haven with my parents to select some bagels. That was a wonderful childhood memory. May he rest in peace and always remembered for his tasty contribution to our society.
Ruth Ransom
March 24, 2012
March 24, 2012
By chance I saw an article on Murrays death. My heart filled with old memories and sadness. Gillie, I also remember my old friend and my profound sympathy on your loss. Fondly, Hunsey Silver Levine.
March 24, 2012
I remember when you come to Pittsburgh,I worked for the McClay co. for wo years selling frozen food products Thank you for being the man you were.
Moon Mullins
March 24, 2012
To the Lender family Iam so sorry for your loss.Iremeber Murray when i went to visit his sister my aunt Helen.May god be wth you all in this time of sorrow.
Sincerely Dave DuBosar
Dave DuBosar
March 24, 2012
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.
American Heart Association
March 24, 2012
Murray Lender, What a lovely man, we have lost a giant among men.
March 24, 2012
Best wishes to Carl, Olivia, Adam and the entire family......he was a fine gentlemen and a true cornerstone of 20th century New Haven.
Dan Santoro
March 23, 2012
My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Lender Family. Murray was a wonderful man. I was lucky to have been able to work for him for several years as his administrative assistant. He treated me like a part of his family and let me know how much he valued me. I have thought of him often through the years. He was a wonderful, charismatic man who had a talent for making everyone he came in contact with feel special. I am so sorry for your loss.
April Saba
March 23, 2012
Murray Lender was a MAJOR personality and innovator! We never met the likes of him as a promoter not only of bagels but of the whole frozen food industry. His name rings forever synonymous with the frozen bagel. How we enjoyed that Wedding of the Century when the bagel married the cream cheese and other Lender's incentive trips! He made making money fun and a big part of that was that he loved people. What a tremendous and proud legacy! He will be missed in ALTOONA, PA and all over the world! Our sympathy to Marvin and the family. Steve & Phyllis Port
Steve & Phyllis Port
March 23, 2012
I love Lender's bagles. There is nothing quite like them.
March 23, 2012
Dear Carl,(Adam & Olivia) & Family,
I was so sad to learn of your Dad's passing. He always seemed so upbeat & full of life. Thankfully you all have so many wonderful memories with your Dad, to look back on & cherish. Thinking of you
Sherri Melamed Schreiber & family
Sherri Schreiber
March 23, 2012
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
March 23, 2012
Murray Lender was a bagel sales genius. He introduced the wheat bagel to millions who never knew it even existed. Nobody ever did that for vegetables.
Allen Jarvis
March 23, 2012
Cousins Helen and Lou will always remember him with love and affection. He will be greatly missed.
March 23, 2012
So sorry for your loss. May God help you during this tough time for you. Very, very soon we will see scriptures like Hosea 13:14 fulfilled.
March 23, 2012
I am writing this on behalf of my family. We are the children of Sally & Mel Brickman; Harriet, Arlene & Bonnie.
We were sadden to hear about Murray's death. We want to send our sincere sympathies to the entire Lender family.
Our thoughts go back many years ago, when our mother & father took us to visit our cousins Harry & Rose in New Haven, Connecticut. It was the first time we met our Cousins, Hymmie, Sam, Murry, Marvin & Helen. We clearly remember going into their garage (their bakery) and seeing how bagels were made. Murray took the bagel business from the garage and turned the name, "Lenders" into a household name. Thank you Murray and my you rest in peace.

We want the Lender Family to know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Harriet Roberts, David & Arlene Multz & Roy & Bonnie Levine
Harriet Robers, ArleneMultz & Bonnie Levine
March 23, 2012
Ever since I heard of the loss of Murray,so many thoughts have appeared in my mind and feelings
in my Heart.Gillie,I'll be in condoiences
to You and Murray's loving family members and friends.
Murray was surely an icon in New Haven;known as an outstanding entreprenuer and a remarkable vital Human Being.
I had the pleasure of knowing him as my brother's friend and watched the bantering
go on between them in my brother Chuck's restaurant,year after year in the 'good old days'
decades ago.
And then.nine or so years ago,Gillie,when I congratulated you on your marriage during a long distance phone call and expressed how fortunate Murray was to have you in his life.....
You said to me "I'm the fortunate one Irma,
he's wonderful."
Love You,Gillie.May you find comfort in your dear family and friends.
irma goldbloom
March 23, 2012
Gary Thomas
We (like the Mannings note below)also will remember Murray and Marvin for his Sales Incentive trips for selling Lender's Bagels in the Altoona PA (Central PA) area. He WAS quite a guy and I remember well his creativity in the sales and marketing....the green bagelettes, bagelette necklaces...the Wedding of the Century (celebration of the sale of Lender's to Kraft Foods)..the list could go on and on. A truly great guy....
Gary and Deborah Thomas, Altoona PA
Our deepest condolences to the Lender Family. We will remember Murray as a person bigger than life, a friend to all, the ultimate gentlemean and a kind a gentle soul. We will always remember all the wonderful Lenders trips he hosted. He made over a hundred people feel like he'd known them forever. What a gift!
~ Jeff & Nancy Manning, Portland, Oregon
March 23, 2012
Too the Family of Murray . I shure love them Bagels very soft too well I want too say my Prayers & Heart gose out too all his Family members & his Friends who we both love. Well I'll never stop thinking about him.
Mimi Rubinelli
March 23, 2012
Rest in Peace. I have your onion bagels in frig rite now.God bless your wife. A Lenders Bagel Fan.
March 23, 2012
To the family. Losing someone who has being a part of your life for so many years must be very difficult. May it help to ease the hurt you feel now to know that others care and are thinking of you at this sad time. With deepest sympathy. (Psalms 61:3)
March 23, 2012
My husband and I would go to Lender's Bagel Bakery on the Boston Post Road, Orange, CT and have a meal or snack, etc. Murray would come in and out at different times and smooze with the customers like he was visiting with his best friends or relatives.

Good man, Good bagels, a terrible loss to his family and all of us! Heartfelt sympathy to the whole family.

Jim and Jo-Ann, West Haven, CT
March 23, 2012
My condolences to the family.
Mike Devine
March 23, 2012
Murray, Marvin & guests cruised up the Connecticut River with a houseboat on a beautiful sunny afternoon one weekend in the mid 1960's. They spotted me on the roof of my houseboat anchored in Essex Harbor off of Steamboat Dock, now the Conn. River Museum. I invited them to raft next to me and join me aboard my home and we spent the entire afternoon enjoying the beauty of the river and oneanother's company.
That was my introduction to the Lender family and the only time I've ever been in their company.
I have never forgotten the magic of that day and the very pleasant time we enjoyed together with the Lender family. I am saddened by the news of Murry's death. May his memory be a blessing to those who love him.
"Harvey Houseboat" Redak
Vero Beach, FL
March 23, 2012
Murray - Thank you! You have been very generous to so many and leave a wonderful legacy.
Tom Clifford
March 23, 2012
March 23, 2012
March 23, 2012
There are so many great accolades I can think of but one I will share.
As an outside vendor for Lender's in the 80's and 90's I was aware that every Halloween the employees were encouraged to dress up for work in costume that day. Well for the Kraft people who came into New Haven on business, this was quite a shock. I said, "well that's Murray, he wants his employees to have a nice day." They did. When I would show up on business that day I was treated very ghoulishly.
RIP to a great humanitarian and my condolences to his family.
March 23, 2012
Dear Cousin Gilly,I was saddened to read about Murray's passing.Please convey my condolences to the Lender Family.If there is anything I can do for you,just ask.Love Paul Alpert and Rosemarie Celentano
Paul Alpert
March 23, 2012
RIP Your bagels made my day, many days ! Thank you Mr. Lender.
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences