WESTON, Mo., April 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The spirits industry has lost one of its greats with the passing of the former president and chairman of the board of Schenley Industries, Howard S. Feldman, on March 30, 2020.
Feldman was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1918. After serving overseas as a medic during World War II, he returned home to marry the late Eleanor Schimmel in 1945. His start in the liquor business was modest, as he began his career in 1947 as a night clerk in a liquor store in Miami Beach, Florida. Before long, he worked his way into the position of general manager of a 26-store liquor retail chain called Winkle's.
In 1959, Feldman and his family moved to New York, where he accepted a position as the assistant national sales manager of the Schenley Imports Co., a selling division of Schenley Industries. Schenley was founded in the 1920s and became the largest liquor company in the United States by the mid-1930s, going on to be known as one of the "Big Four" liquor companies (along with Seagram, National Distillers, and Hiram Walker) for decades thereafter.
Feldman held a number of positions during his tenure at Schenley, including president of Knickerbocker Liquors (a wholly owned Schenley distributorship in Metro New York), president of the Cresta Blanca Roma Wine Company, president of Schenley Affiliated Brands, president of Schenley Industries and, ultimately, chairman of the board of Schenley Industries. He was the recipient of many industry accolades and awards, and was a popular keynote speaker at numerous industry conventions and meetings.
Feldman was a role model to many, both in business and in life, earning admiration for his professional accomplishments as well as his hearty appreciation of a good joke and his love of traveling throughout the world well into his 90s. Many who worked for or with him at Schenley later became affiliated with McCormick Distilling Co., including majority owners Edward A. Pechar and the late Michael S. Griesser, among others. The impact that Feldman had on their careers cannot be overstated.
Feldman retired from Schenley in 1990. In 1993, he and his son, Allyn, formed Feldman & Associates, a sales and marketing liquor brokerage firm in New York that has represented numerous McCormick products throughout the Northeast for many years. Howard Feldman retired from the industry for good in 2014 at the age of 96.
Feldman was a beloved member of the McCormick extended family and will be deeply missed. He is survived by his wife Mary Ann; his son Allyn and daughter-in-law Donna; his daughters Marlene and Mindy; his grandchildren Jamie, Todd, Stephen, and Emily; and his great-grandchildren Ryan, Allie, Ellie, Cole, Devin, and Kyle.
The family has requested that any donations made in his memory should be directed to either the American Cancer Society or any reputable charity that is offering support to first responders and those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.