2003-06-06 / Obits

Remembering Harvey Bernstein: Businessman and Former Wave GM

Remembering Harvey Bernstein: Businessman and Former Wave GM

Harvey Bernstein: Businessman and Former Wave GM


Harvey Bernstein, 75, died on Monday, June 2 in Century Village, Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Bernstein served as the General Manager of The Wave during the 1980s and early 1990s.

Born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Bernstein earned the name "Demon," because he would never back down from a challenge. That name would define his life.

Bernstein, however, was as smart as he was tough. He joined the Navy at age 17, with WW II in full swing. He immediately went into a challenging new field - radar.

After the war, Bernstein married his childhood sweetheart, Shirley. He attended New York University on the GI Bill and graduated earning Magna cum laude honors and Phi Beta Kappa.

Offered a scholarship for further study at NYU, the needs of his young and growing family necessitated his going to work. He earned a top score in a civil service exam and went to work for the New York City Housing Authority, where he quickly rose in rank and responsibility, soon becoming the youngest housing manager in the agency's history, eventually assigned to manage the authorities largest and most difficult project, Fort Greene Houses in Brooklyn.

At the top of his field, he left city service for the private sector, managing the Big Six Housing complex in Queens. Then, striking out on his own, he started a new company, Pollution Control Industries and grew it from infancy to public offering.

A voracious reader and a student of history and social science, he wrote a novel based on his experiences working with the project street gangs in Brooklyn, co-produced a feature-length movie called "March of the Spring Hare," and was the campaign manager for a mayoral candidate. He also taught economics at Long Island University.

After "retiring" to Florida at the age of 45 for health reasons, Bernstein became the business manager of a top law firm in Miami. He owned racehorses that ran at Calder Racetrack in Florida and still active politically, ran campaigns for city councilor.

With The Wave in financial trouble, Bernstein returned to New York to lend a hand. He became a partner and the general manager of the newspaper and shepherded it back to health.

After his return to Century Village and his second retirement, Bern- stein, despite his declining health, had an immediate impact on that community. He served as the editor of the community's newspaper, The Reporter, and as a volunteer and board member of the local temple. He also served as a member of the Planning and Zoning Board for the city of Deerfield Beach.

Bernstein is survived by his wife Shirley, two sons; Sanford and Ira, four grandchildren; Leah, David, Jacob, and Rachael, and two sisters; Phyllis and Lynn. He was predeceased by his sister Alice.


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