BOISI--James O., Passed away August 21, 2013 at his home surrounded by three generations of his family. This quintessential New Yorker was born in 1919 on the Lower East Side, and educated in the New York public school system attending Stuyvesant High School, Brooklyn College and Fordham Law School. His first position was at the law firm of Amend & Amend where he gravitated to the practice of real estate law, ultimately representing clients such as the legendary William Zeckendorf, Sr. in many real estate dealings. In 1956 he was then offered a position as real estate attorney for the New York Central Railroad eventually becoming Vice President of Real Estate. During his tenure he made a profound impact on the New York City skyline by transforming the residential corridor of Park Avenue above Grand Central Station into high-rise office towers by arranging ground leases with developers on property owned by the railroad. He was visionary in his use of utilizing the concept of "air rights" to increase the buildable area of buildings in NYC. In 1964, Thomas Gates recruited Mr. Boisi to Morgan Guaranty Trust Company to head a newly formed Real Estate ultimately being promoted to Executive Vice President of Corporate Finance in 1970 and then to Executive Vice President of the parent company J.P. Morgan & Co. in 1972. He headed Strategic Planning for the Bank creating an Investment Banking Group and Merger department. In 1978 Mr. Boisi was then elected Vice Chairman of the Board and Director and a member of the Corporate Office where he served until his retirement in 1984. Boisi was a staunch advocate for New York working closely with then Governor Hugh Carey establishing International Banking Facilities to lure offshore banking business back to the United States. He also helped secure financing for the transit system of NYC and was a lead banker in providing support for the Municipal Assistance Corporation (MAC) which brought NYC out of bankruptcy in 1975. Upon his mandatory retirement from the bank, Harry Helmsley persuaded him to join Helmsley Enterprises as Executive Vice President where he served from 1984 through 1987. Mr. Boisi was then asked by The British Coal Board to become Chairman of its US property subsidiary, Pan American Properties, serving from 1987 through 1990. In 1991 he set about establishing the Mentoring Partnership of Long Island. Mr. Boisi chaired the Leadership Council until 1996 and served as Co-Chair from 1996 - 2000. He has served on several Boards of Directors over his career including Cities Service Co., Denny's, J.P. Morgan & Co., Boy Scouts of America, the Real Estate Board of New York, and Mentoring Partnership of Long Island. For 51 Years of his impressive business career Mr. Boisi also taught real estate at Pace University in the evenings becoming Co-Chairman of the Department and finally a Trustee Emeritus of the University. Mr. Boisi was a devout Catholic serving as an active parishioner of St. Mary's Church and lector for Sunday Mass. He was also a Knight of Malta. Mr. Boisi is survived by his loving wife of 68 years Edith Mae Mullen, six children James, Geoffrey (Rene Isacco), Jeanne (Robert) Sheehy, Mark (Barbara Gallagher), Patricia (John) Sheehy, Eileen (William) Dobbs, 19 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. A wake will be held at Beney Funeral Home, Syosset, NY on August 23rd from 2-5pm and 7-9pm and a Funeral Mass will be held on August 24th, 10am at St. Mary's Church, Roslyn, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mentoring Partnership of Long Island.
Published in New York Times on Aug. 23, 2013.