L. I. Weisman, businessman, attorney, is dead
Lawrence I. Weisman, a Baltimore attorney who was right-hand man to late real estate developer Harry Weinberg in many of the billionaire's major business deals in the 1950s and 1960s, was found dead at a friend's city apartment Sunday.
Mr. Weisman was 65, said a nephew, Alan Ezersky. Police attributed Mr. Weisman's death to natural causes, Mr. Ezersky said.
Services will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Sol Levinson & Bros. funeral establishment, 6010 Reisterstown Road.
An honors graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Weisman at one time worked with the Baltimore law firm of Nyburg, Goldman & Walter, which became part of what is now Frank, Bernstein, Conaway and Goldman.
In 1962, he played an instrumental role in Mr. Weinberg's wresting control of a New York City bus company from its previous owners. Mr. Weinberg rewarded Mr. Weisman by making him president of the Fifth Avenue Coach Co., then the country's largest private bus company with a daily ridership of more than 1.2 million. Mr. Weisman and Mr. Weinberg also took over transit companies in Houston and Honolulu.
The friendship between the two cooled in 1963 after Mr. Weisman played a pivotal role in helping to oust Mr. Weinberg from Fifth Avenue Coach.
Assisting Mr. Weisman, in what was believed to be a bitter blow to Mr. Weinberg, were the late Roy A. Cohn, who gained national prominence in the 1950s as counsel for Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, and Mr. Weinberg's son, Morton Weinberg.
The elder Mr. Weinberg moved from Baltimore to Hawaii a short time later. He died in Honolulu in November 1990.
Mr. Weisman, who eventually became chairman of Fifth Avenue Coach, left in 1964 to become chairman of Pathe Industries, a movie coloration company. Later, he was president of the Old Town Corp., a Brooklyn distributor of office supplies and copying machines.
In 1969, Mr. Weisman testified in federal court that Mr. Cohn had blackmailed him into selling his shares of Fifth Avenue Coach. Mr. Cohn had threatened to reveal Mr. Weisman's role in the alleged bribing of a New York City transit appraiser, Mr. Weisman testified.
His frenetic pace slowed in later years, but Mr. Weisman occasionally practiced law up to the time of his death, his nephew said.
Survivors include three sons, James L. Weisman of Pomona, Fla; Winty Nordlinger of Washington and Grange Johnson of New York; his father, Harry Weisman, and a sister, Joan S. Ezersky, both of Baltimore.
A Mass of Christian burial for Nicholas J. Basciano, a retired garment worker who had been known as Nick Bass since he used the name as a professional boxer, will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. William of York Roman Catholic Church, Edmondson Avenue and Cooks Lane.
Mr. Basciano, who was 89, died Saturday of a respiratory illness at his home on Baltimore Avenue in Catonsville.
He retired about 24 years ago af
ter working for many years in clothing factories and was a member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.
During the 1920s, he was a middleweight who won 25 fights and lost five. One of his losses was to then-champion Vince Dundee and one of his victories came in a fight with Gene Buffalo, then a leading contender for the championship.
In Washington during the mid-1920s, he had two knockouts in one night. When his scheduled opponent failed to appear on time, a heavyweight was substituted, and Mr. Basciano knocked him out. By that time, the scheduled opponent had arrived. The fans insisted that the originally scheduled fight take place, and Mr. Basciano scored knockout No. 2.
In 1930, his last year in the ring, he won the Middleweight Championship of the South.
Named to the Maryland Boxing Hall of Fame in 1976, he served since 1974 as second vice president of Ring 101 of the International Veteran Boxers Association. He also served as third vice president of the parent organization.
He arranged for his son Richard to finance the Ring 101 display of boxing memorabilia at Martin's West.
He was a native of Philadelphia, who came to Baltimore as a youth with his family.
His wife, the former Margaret Ranzino, died in 1985.
Besides his son, Richard Basciano of Glen Burnie, Mr. Basciano is survived by another son, John Basciano of Millersville; two daughters, Lola Marsiglia of Catonsville and Marietta Restivo of Satellite Beach, Fla.; three brothers, Edward Basciano of San Francisco and Ralph and Herman Basciano, both of Philadelphia; a sister, Mamie Direnzo of Philadelphia; 13 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Rev. Clair V. Rhodes
Church of Christ pastor
Services for the Rev. Clair V. Rhodes, pastor emeritus of Zion United Church of Christ, will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the church at 7146 Golden Ring Road.
Mr. Rhodes, who was 84 and lived on Goldfield Court in Rosedale, died Friday of a circulatory illness at the Lorien Frankford Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
He retired in 1973 after serving as pastor of Zion United Church of Christ since 1964.