Yale University

In Memoriam

Andy Israel

by Tom Israel, Andy's younger brother, Yale 1966

July 1999

Andy Israel
1964 graduation

Several weeks after graduating from Yale, Andy married Joan Gray and then headed west to Berkeley Architecture School. Four years on the West Coast produced a masters in architecture and a son, James Cremieux Israel (Yale '90). Andy and Joan then moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, where Joan still resides. Andy applied his architectural skills for several years at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. In 1970 Andy's second child, Joanne Gray Israel, was born. Although he enjoyed architecture, Andy's love of the business side necessitated another return to academia. In four consecutive semesters at Columbia University, he obtained his second master's degree, this time in business administration. One of his original research papers analyzed the influence of the home court advantage in basketball in determining point spreads.

With more than enough formal education, Andy joined the world of high finance and real estate with the firm Eastdil. After about three years, a certain restlessness again took over, so he headed west to join Sam Zell in his rapidly growing real estate firm located in Chicago. He loved the excitement of meeting new people and the travel involved in putting together substantial real estate deals across the country.

When he was not working, golf was Andy's favorite hobby. He was a frequent competitor in the Bob Hope Desert Classic and was always ready to play in any and all member guest tournaments.

In early 1978 Andy married Carol Johnsen, but tragically died in an automobile accident on June 30, 1978 in Phoenix, Arizona while on a business trip.

Andy's son, Jimmy, graduated from Yale in 1990 and was a member of the Yale golf team. After working for a bank in Atlanta and a money management firm in New York, he graduated from Columbia Business School with honors in 1995. He joined A.C. Israel Enterprises, Inc. the family holding company which makes private investments. After three years, Jimmy decided to pursue a career in education. He is a math teacher and golf coach at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut. Speaking of golf, Jimmy is a scratch golfer and has played in the USGA Mid-Amateur Championship in Texas and the British Amateur in Scotland. He lives in New Canaan with his wife, Wendy Walker Israel, and his one year old son, Andrew Walker Israel. 

Andy's daughter, Jody, graduated from Manhattanville College, having majored in computer science. She spent several years at IBM Leasing and then became a math teacher at Greenwich Country Day. After several productive years there, she decided to follow her brother and father and is currently pursuing a masters degree in business at Columbia. She will graduate in the spring of 2000. She splits her time between New York City and New Canaan.