LEVINSON--Budd. A Philanthropist who had been an entrepreneur in the textiles business, Navy Veteran, and inveterate fisherman, died at his home in Springs on December 20. He was 101. Mr. Levinson was an honorary life trustee of Guild Hall in East Hampton, where he had served two terms as chairman of the board, enhancing the cultural center's fund- raising efforts. He also supported after-school programs for local students as well as the other educational, environmental, and cultural initiatives. He was a supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project and of Columbia University Medical Center. Mr. Levinson had been widely recognized in the textile industry. He was the chief executive officer of Rosewood Fabrics and of Fabrex Corporation. With his business partner at Fabrex, Paul Lazare, he built the company into a leader in fabric development. "He had a keen feel for what made a great fabric," said Mel Steig, a friend and former employee. The Budd Levinson Award was established in 1964 by the Textile Veterans Association to honor the top graduating senior in New York University's program in business administration. Mr. Steig said that while people meeting Mr. Levinson were at first struck by his charming manner, baritone voice, and movie-star looks, "they quickly discovered his great humanity." A self-described "very lucky man," Mr. Levinson lived in East Hampton for more than half his life. He enjoyed his view of Hog Creek from his home office, and spent as much time as possible fishing or sailing. He also enjoyed playing tennis with his brother, Robert Levinson. His family said he had been comforted at the end of his life by East End Hospice staff. Budd Levinson was born in Baltimore in 1915, a son of Louis and Frieda Levinson. He attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Maryland Law School. During World War II, he served as a lieutenant, helping to train pilots how to land on aircraft carriers. His marriage to Ruth Heller, an artist with whom he had three children, ended in divorce. In 1972, he and Judith P. Sulzberger, a physician and philanthropist, were married. She died in 2011. Mr. Levinson is survived by a brother, Bob Levinson of New York City, and by his children, Peter Levinson of Waterford, Conn., James Heller Levinson of Garrison, NY, and Ruth Andrea Levinson of Saratoga Springs, NY, as well as a stepson, Jace Cohen of Ellsworth, ME. Another stepson, Daniel Cohen, died before him, as did two sisters. Six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren also survive. A private service was held on December 22 at Green River Cemetery in Springs. The family plans to hold a celebration of Mr. Levinson's life at an annual Levinson family weekend. Donations in his memory have been suggested to the Springs School after-school program, c/o Superintendent John J. Finello, Springs School, 48 School Street, East Hampton 11937, or to Guild Hall, c/o Genevieve Linnehan, director of development, 158 Main Street, East Hampton 11937.
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