Edward Azrael, 94, lawyer, state senator, zoning official

November 12, 2001|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Edward Azrael became a lawyer in 1930, after paying $5 a night for classes at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He went on to a legal career that spanned more than 70 years and included service as a state senator and a member of the city zoning board.

Mr. Azrael, 94, a longtime Northwest Baltimore resident, died Saturday of pneumonia at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center & Hospital in Baltimore.

He practiced in the Towson law firm of Azrael, Gann & Franz - with a son and a grandson - until August, when he was incapacitated after being injured in a fall, said son Jonathan Azrael of Towson, a member of the firm.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Azrael came to Baltimore as a boy and graduated from City College. He earned his law degree in 1929, a member of the second class at the school, where he paid a bursar his $5 at the door.

He was admitted to the bar in 1930.

His legal practice focused on real estate and zoning, estate planning and business law. He founded Azrael, Gann & Franz in the mid-1980s.

"He was really one of the oldest practicing lawyers in Baltimore when he died," said Jonathan Azrael.

Edward Azrael was a member of the state Senate from 1968 to 1970. He was appointed to replace Paul A. Dorf, who had become a judge of the city's Supreme Bench. Mr. Azrael also served on the Board of Municipal Zoning and Appeals of Baltimore City from 1947 to 1962, and was a member of the Democratic State Central Committee for the 4th District from 1944 to 1956.

A founding member of Bonnie View County Club in 1952, Mr. Azrael enjoyed playing bridge and golf. Until seven years ago, his son said, he was a member of what was believed to be the area's oldest standing golf foursome - they ranged in age from 82 to the upper 90s.

He was a founding director of the Children's Cancer Fund, and the Edward and Harriet Azrael Scholarship Fund to help University of Baltimore law students. He was a member for 62 years of Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Stevenson.

Mr. Azrael married Harriet Glasser on Nov. 24, 1938. She survives him.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros. Funeral Home, 8900 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Azrael is survived by another son, Richard Azrael of Lutherville; a sister, Beatrice Colvin of Atlanta; four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

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