John J. Cali, co-founder of what became one of the largest real estate investment trusts in the United States, passed away on February 1 in Rancho Mirage, California. He was 95 years old.
His obituary was announced by Montclair State University in New Jersey, home of the John J. Curry School of Music.
The son of a coal miner, Mr. Cali helped create a real estate empire that now includes 279 office buildings and 12 multi-family rental buildings in the Northeast through McCary Realty Corporation.
Kari was born on August 8, 1918 in the mining town of Tercio, Colorado. He then moved with his family to New Jersey and attended schools in Passaic and Clifton. He studied sociology and psychology in college at Indiana University and played saxophone and clarinet in a jazz band.
A passionate music lover who has become a prominent philanthropist, in 2008 he donated $5 million to found a music school that bears his name.
After working for Western Electric, Cali used funds from the GI Bill of Rights to provide training and placement for returning veterans. He founded Kalia Associates, a housing development company, in his 1949 with his brother Angelo R. Cali and his best friend Edward Leshowitz.
In 1969, Cali Associates built its first office building in Cranford, New Jersey. During the 1970s and 1980s, Cali Associates developed office buildings in suburban New Jersey, including the Union’s Liberty Hall Corporate Center and the International Finance Tower at 95 Christopher Columbus Drive. jersey city. By the 1990s, it had evolved into an acquisition and management company.
When Cali Realty went public as a mutual fund in 1994, Mr. Cali was chairman. In 1997, the company merged with Mack Company, another New Jersey office developer, to form Mack-Cali Realty Corporation. Kali retired as chairman in 2000 and honorary chairman in 2003.
Kali’s first marriage ended in divorce, and his second marriage ended in disaster. In 1973, his wife Lenny and stepdaughter Leslie Grant (two months pregnant) were found dead in the basement of her family’s mansion in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Khali and other members of his family claimed they were victims of the attackers. A window washer who had been hired by Kallis on occasion was later convicted of murder.
Mr. Kari is survived by his third wife, Rose. His three children Brant, Jonah and Christopher Curry. Two sons-in-law, Michael and Joshua Nevins. and nine grandchildren.