Volume 74, Number 25 | Octuber 20 - 26 , 2004


Joseph Weiser, former Stuyvesant Town assemblyman

Joseph J. Weiser, former assemblymember for the district that includes Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, died on Sept. 17 after a long illness in his Hollywood, Fla., home at the age of 92.

A lawyer committed to public service, he represented the area now encompassed in Assembly District 74 for eight years. A longtime leader of the Downtown Democratic Club, he campaigned for the presidential election of John F. Kennedy in 1960 and was Kennedy’s host when the candidate visited the neighborhood.

He was especially admired for his effort in building Junior High School (now Middle School) 140 on E. 21st St. between First and Second Aves. After his Assembly service, he was named deputy commissioner of Off-Track Betting.

Born Dec. 25, 1912, to an immigrant family of 13 children, he grew up on the Lower East Side, attended City College and earned a law degree from St. John’s University. He was a partner in the law firm of Raiskin, Weiser and Associates and was active in the United Jewish Appeal, Anti-Defamation League and Jewish War Veterans. For 10 years, he was on the board of directors of Boys’ Brotherhood, which merged with Henry St. Settlement.

A resident of the Peter Cooper/ Stuyvesant Town complex, he embodied the neighborhood for many of his neighbors. Even in his recent years of declining health, friends would join him when he went for walks or sat on a bench in the neighborhood.

His wife of 57 years, Ruth Weiser, survives. His son, Stanley Weiser, author of the films “Wall Street” and “Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story,” his two daughters, Susan Finley and Wendy Chayet, four grandchildren and his sister, Judy Schauer, also survive.

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