Deceased November 6, 2017

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In Memory

Alan Levenstein died of pancreatic cancer on Nov. 6, surrounded by his adoring family: Gail, his wife of 54 years, and children Miranda, Jessica ’91 and Tony.

His four years at Amherst shaped Alan in profound ways. An English major, he formed a lasting friendship with Professor Benjamin DeMott, for whom he wrote a senior thesis on the plays of George Bernard Shaw. Alan marked his gratitude by establishing the DeMott Lecture, an annual feature of first-year orientation at the College, emphasizing issues of social and economic inequality, racial and gender bias and political activism. Alan also sang with the Glee Club, pledged Beta Theta Pi, graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude and formed lifelong friendships. Especially dear to him were Ed Nygren ’56, Dick Pollak ’57 and Bill Salot ’56.

After Amherst, Alan embarked on a long career in advertising, creating award-winning strategic plans and advertising campaigns, including the marketing and communications partnership that resulted in the turnaround of Chrysler Corp. When he retired as vice chairman and chief strategy officer at Bozell Worldwide in 1999, Alan devoted himself to public service and teaching, establishing the American Musicals Project at the New York Historical Society and teaching at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

A diehard liberal in Saville Row suits, Alan cut a dashing, unforgettable figure. He was a consummate New Yorker and an enthusiastic aficionado of literature and the performing arts, but his deepest passion was for his family. He and Gail were a perfect match, both witty, warm and charming, and they entertained often and traveled widely. Alan was an active, devoted father to Miranda, Jessica and Tony, and was besotted by his granddaughters, Willa and Alice Davis. His intellectual curiosity, civic engagement and loving relationships characterized a life lived to the fullest.

Jessica Levenstein Davis ’91