Harold, an Electrical industry icon, whose products are in nearly all of American homes, died peacef


Staff member
LEVITON - Harold, an Electrical industry icon, whose products are in nearly all of American homes, died peacefully September 8th, 2007, at age ninety.

Despite the prominence of his company Harold maintained a low profile, cherishing his family and long-term relationships with employees, customers and vendors. As CEO and Chairman of the Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. of Little Neck, New York, he transformed the company founded by his father in
1906 as a manufacture of tip mantles for gas lights, into a global electrical and electronic industry leader. The company is a rarity in today's environment-a large successful family-owned business.

Born in Brooklyn, Harold Leviton was the son of immigrants. From the time he could walk, Harold spent weekends accompanying his father at the company's original factory in Greenpoint. There he built a strong foundation for a career spanning more than seven-decades. After graduating from the University of Miami, Harold began his career in the company's purchasing department. Next he was charged with running the personnel department. This position imbued a deep respect for the value of all employees. Upon the death of his father in 1965, Harold became President and CEO of the company. He became Chairman in 1998 after the death of his brother-in-law, Jack Amsterdam.

For Harold, his company's mission went beyond selling products. Quality and safety were paramount. He was an advocate in support of electrical industry standards and played a leadership role within the industry serving on the board of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) since 1976. He was Chairman of National Electrical Manufacturers Association Wiring Device Section and an honorary member of its Board of Governors as well as Chairman of the Electrical Manufacturing Council. He was a charter board member of the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) and served as a Vice Chairman Emeritus of the National Electrical Safety Foundation (NESF).

The human side of the business always came first. Many employee and industry associates could count on a personally signed birthday note or the even more thoughtful gift of a handmade latch hook pillow or cork tray, two of his signature hobbies. There was always more than business to be done.
Active with the United Jewish Y's of Long Island, he was a benefactor and one-time president and chairman of its Board. He was a founder of Israel's Technion, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (now Montefiore Medical Center), and the Leviton Industrial Arts Award, a prestigious accolade for New York City High School students in the electrical trades. He served as a Trustee and Deputy Mayor of the Village of Hewlett Harbor where he lived since 1947, Vice President of the Board of the Woodmere Academy, and Chairman of the Appeals Board and Vice Chairman of the Recreational Committee of the Five Towns.

Leviton was the recipient of numerous distinguished service awards. These included the Anti-Defamation Torch of Liberty Award, the Wire and Cable Club of America's Charles D. Scott Distinguished Career Award, the Medal of Merit of the Portuguese Communities, which he received from the Government of Portugal, and the NEMA Falk Award for his many years of service to the electroindustry. Harold Leviton will be remembered as an icon in the electrical industry, an entrepreneur and visionary, generous benefactor, but most of all, as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He is survived by his wife Shirley, daughters, Patricia, Adrienne, and Elizabeth, son-in-laws Stephen, Donald and Andrew, 11 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. Family requests no flowers.
Donations may be made to UJA Federation or North Shore University Hospital.
Services, Monday, 1:30 PM, Temple Israel of Lawrence, 140 Central Avenue, Lawrence, N.Y. Donald Hendler, President Stephen Sokolow, Vice-Chairman, and the Executive Committee of Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.