Former G.N. ed board member who helped spur World Trade Center’s construction dies at 89

Michael Zarin, a former member of the Great Neck Board of Education who helped spur the construction of the World Trade Center, died on Sunday at 89.

Zarin attended  P.S. 208 and Midwood High School before graduating from Dartmouth College in 1953. He then attended Columbia Law School and Harvard’s Advanced Management Program, graduating from both. In 1956, Zarin married his wife, Renee Kroll.

Zarin spent nearly three decades working at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. After beginning his 28-year tenure in 1956, Zarin went on to serve as chief of the organization’s finance division and law department, with one of the main projects being his involvement in helping to finance and develop the World Trade Center.

In the private sector, Zarin served as a vice president and manager of Bank of America’s New York public finance office. Until his death, Zarin also served as chairman and CEO for Great Neck-based Wellfleet Investments LLC.

Additionally, Zarin served as the chairman of the Law Committee of the International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association. Zarin also participated in the President’s Private Sector Study on Cost Control, with financial articles appearing in various publications.

Throughout his life, Zarin remained an active member of the community, serving as chairman of Temple Beth-El’s Investment Committee, a board member of the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce and a Board of Education trustee from 1975 to 1978. As a trustee, Zarin helped raise the district’s financial rating from Baa to Aa.

Zarin is survived by Renee, who previously served as president of the Great Neck Library, his sister Eve, his children Cynthia, Dina and Daniel, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A virtual funeral service was held for Zarin on Wednesday, with interment taking place at Beth Moses Cemetery in Farmingdale afterward.

Shiva will also be held at the Zarin home at North Shore Towers in Floral Park on Wednesday and Thursday from 3-7 p.m.

About the author

Robert Pelaez

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