It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Louis L. Levine on December 23 rd. Lou was the Founder and Chairman of the National Labor & Management Conference and a legend in the labor movement, both locally in New York and nationally. Lou Levine served as Commissioner of Labor Affairs and as Industrial Commissioner of the State of New York from 1966 to 1976 under Governors Nelson Rockefeller, Malcolm Wilson, and Hugh Carey. His role in these administrations is especially notable, as both Governor Rockefeller and Governor Wilson brought sweeping change to the state’s infrastructure including the establishment of the State University of New York.
Mr. Levine began his long and distinguished career as the Director of Community Services of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, working with renowned labor leaders including Council President Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. and Michael Quill, the founder of the Transport Workers Union of America. Additionally, Mr. Levine played a critical role in collaborating with the U.S. Senate Labor Committee, including Senator Jacob Javits and Senator Williams, leading to the development of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Since 1991, Mr. Levine served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and Foot Clinics of New York. Prior to that, he was Corporate Vice-President for Governmental and Public Affairs at Empire Blue Cross-Blue Shield, one of New York’s leading not-for-profit healthcare insurance organizations, from 1980 to 1991. In March 1976, he became Chairman of the Executive Committee and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Group Health, Incorporated, serving until 1979.
Lou served his country for more than four decades, first in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and then in the U.S. Army Reserve, from which he retired in 1987 as a Lt. Colonel. Mr. Levine held a Master of Arts degree in Industrial Sociology from New York University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Psychology from City College, City University of New York and has received three honorary degrees, Doctors of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Additionally, Mr. Levine was a New York State Certified Social Worker.
Lou lived a long and impactful life. He is survived by Marilyn, his loving wife of seventy-two years, their three children, Steven, Ronald, and Linda (and spouses), grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Lou will be missed by all.