Centenarian Murray Weinstein (’35)
More and more people are living to the astonishing age of 100 and older, and Baruch College is privileged to have a few alumni who have reached that impressive milestone. Born on Oct. 20, 1910, Murray Weinstein is one of them.
Weinstein is a member of the Class of ’35 and holds a BBA in accountancy. More impressive still, he is surrounded by Baruchians in his nuclear family: His wife, Adele (Chernev) Weinstein, is a member of the Class of ’36 and holds a BBA in accountancy (at 94 years old, she has a way to go to join the Century Club). Their son, Roy, is a graduate of the Class of 1964, breaking from family tradition by earning his BBA in economics.
Weinstein Sr.’s story demonstrates that hard work won’t shorten your life. He began working when he was 12 years old, unloading trucks, replacing stock items in a drugstore, delivering laundry on a pushcart, delivering newspapers, and other odd jobs. His favorite stories from that time have a Prohibition era–flavor, with one highlighting the dodgy ethics of the day. The laundry owner had a side business delivering whiskey (typically hidden in the laundry), and one day the young Weinstein was recruited to deliver a bottle. His biggest worry: that it would break before it arrived at its destination.
A smart kid, Murray knew that education was the key to improving his prospects. There were some funny missteps, however, as he began his college search. At NYU the admissions officials asked him if he was “matriculated.” That scared him off (“I didn’t know what ‘matriculated’ meant,” he laughs). Once he regained his courage, he inquired about admission at City College, where he eventually earned a degree at night, part time, after six years. Weinstein’s choice was also driven by price points: NYU charged $8 a credit, far more than City College Downtown (Baruch’s predecessor).
Both City Downtown students, Murray and his life partner, Adele, met at a wedding at which each of their close friends was being married. Their first date was the weekend following that wedding; they became engaged four months later. Murray recalls: “We were sitting at the Metropolitan Opera. I reached over, took her hand, and put a ring on it. We were both employed at the time, so we had to wait to get married until we could take vacation—eight months later.” He adds, “We are still happily married, 71 years and counting!”
Like most men in the 1940s, Weinstein served in the military during World War II. After the war, he had his own full-time practice as a CPA. “Adele, who also was an accountant, assisted me with my accounting practice. We shared a home office—my desk on one side of the room, hers on the other.” Ever entrepreneurial, Weinstein also owned and operated the Village Smoke Shop on 8th Street in Greenwich Village. “I ran both the accounting practice and the smoke shop for approximately 40 years,” he says. The Weinsteins retired 35 years ago and live in Los Angeles, close to their son and his wife.
To what does Weinstein attribute his longevity? “A wonderful marriage and good genes—my mother lived until 104,” he says. For the most part, the centenarian shuns the advice business though. “I never imagined becoming old, so I can’t give advice on preparing for it.”
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