Robert Carmel '58 (1936-1996)

Although Bob Carmel has been gone for more than a decade, he lives on through his children, grandchildren and the many philanthropic ventures he participated in throughout his life. Most notable is the Carmel Family Cancer Research Fund at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York, which Bob established during his lifetime.

His daughter, Candace Barasch ’89, reports that the CFCRF continues to fund research that focuses on the genetic causes of cancer. Such discoveries have led to improved approaches in cancer detection and ultimately to improved treatments for these malignancies. Already, this research has uncovered the most common genetic mutation causing breast and ovarian cancer in individuals from an Ashkenazi Jewish background.

Bob achieved great business success as a real estate developer. After Amherst he joined Williams Real Estate in New York, where he worked his entire career, rising from trainee to vice chairman and director. He specialized in the leasing and sales of commercial properties and office space.

With his partners he developed, among other properties, One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 979 Third Avenue, 150 East 58th Street and 1700 Broadway. Roommate Tom Gorman has always remembered Bob’s determination and ability to focus on what  was important. “He was a clear thinker and one of the most practical people I’ve ever known.”


Bob’s generosity was even more legendary than his business accomplishments. He spent his life giving to those less fortunate than himself. He established a chair at the New Jersey School of Medicine and Dentistry and aided the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. He supported Temple Israel of the City of New York and the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale.

Candace says that Bob would be thrilled to know that these values have been instilled in his children and grandchildren. He would be very proud of the Robert Carmel Scholarship Fund at Amherst. It is particularly significant in light of the College’s initiative to replace loans with scholarships in all financial-aid packages.
Bob’s widow, Susan Carmel Lehrman, lives in Washington, D.C. His son, Brad lives in Beverly Hills and trades sports memorabilia. Candace lives in New York with her husband Michael, son Robert, 11, and daughter Julia, 8. Even though his grandchildren never knew him, they are very much aware that Bob was a man among men. They feel very lucky to be part of his legacy.

Robert Carmel died June 15, 1996, following a two-year struggle with lymphoma cancer.

Bob Carmel
Bob in South Africa, 1985