Lawrence Weisman, Weinberg associate

November 12, 1991

Lawrence I. Weisman, 65, 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 Sunday at a friend's Baltimore apartment.

Police attributed Mr. Weisman's death to natural causes, said a nephew, Alan Ezersky.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the Levinson 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.

Mr. Weisman occasionally practiced law up to the time of his death, his nephew said.

fTC 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.

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