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Muni Legend and Pioneer James A. Lebenthal Dies at 86


James A. Lebenthal, America’s best-known municipal bond salesman, who turned munis into a household word with radio and television ads dramatizing how ordinary investors built subways, sewers, bridges and schools, died on Friday in Manhattan after suffering a heart Attack, said his daughter, Alexandra. He was 86.

An irrepressible showman and financial wizard, Mr. Lebenthal was widely regarded as a spokesman for the $3.7 trillion municipal bond industry and longtime friend and supporter of The Municipal Bond Club of New York. For decades Mr. Lebenthal had been the kick-off speaker to Bond School; no other speaker could match his enthusiasm and passion for the industry. He was an inspiration to all and will surely be missed by everyone in the muni industry. Friday was a sad day not only for Mr. Lebenthal’s family and friends but for munis as a whole. He was a true legend and will be missed by everyone who ever knew or heard of him.

Funeral services will be Friday at 11:30 a.m. at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Avenue at 81st St. Visiting hours will be Thursday from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Museum of the City of New York.
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The Municipal Bond Club of New York was established in 1932. The object of this club is to encourage good fellowship among its members and to provide and maintain high standards and principles. More about us.
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