Albert Kilberg

[Age 92] As an Army supply officer, he provided materials for FDR, Churchill and Stalin at the Yalta Conference.

In the 1960s, Mr. Kilberg made jeans that were sold through Leonard Weinglass' Merry-Go-Round stores.

June 28, 2007|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,sun reporter

Albert Kilberg, a retired clothing manufacturing executive, died of a heart attack Monday at his home in Harper House in Cross Keys. He was 92.

Mr. Kilberg, the son of Russian immigrant parents, was born in Baltimore and raised on Ann Street. One of seven siblings, he helped support his family by delivering Yiddish newspapers.

He was a 1933 graduate of City College. During World War II, he served as a captain in the Army Supply Corps in the European theater of operations.

Mr. Kilberg played a pivotal role in procuring and delivering supplies needed for the historic Yalta Conference that was held early in 1945.

For his efforts, he received personal thanks from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, said a son, James A. Kilberg of Atlanta.

"He supplied the conference with everything they required," the son said.

After the war, Mr. Kilberg went to work for the Parkton Co. Inc., a Hopkins Place necktie company that had been founded by Irving Cohen in 1940 and later became a manufacturer and wholesaler of men's winter and summer sportswear.

Mr. Kilberg later became vice president and co-owner of the company, which moved in 1964 to a new facility in Meadows Industrial Park in Woodlawn. The company was later sold to Eckmar Corp.

"After a visit to Bermuda in the 1950s where he observed men wearing long shorts, he returned to Baltimore and began manufacturing a similar type of shorts which he called Walkies," his son said.

During the 1960s, he turned his attention to manufacturing blue jeans and painter's pants, which were purchased by students and young adults. "He called the jeans Long Johns, and they were sewn with colored thread and sold through Leonard `Boogie' Weinglass' Merry-Go-Round stores," Mr. Kilberg said.

"He and Irv Cohen were a pair of nice guys who always treated me with respect. I was a kid at the time and not a big shot, and they respected me. They didn't look down on me," said Mr. Weinglass yesterday from Aspen, Colo., where he owns and operates Boogie's Diner.

"They also had a great taste in fashion, even though they didn't dress that way themselves," he said, with a laugh. "[Mr. Kilberg] was a nice, smart man, and always a gentleman."

Several years after his former company closed, Mr. Kilberg continued working as an agent for the Army, procuring sportswear that was sold in post exchanges.

Before moving to Harper House in 1977, he lived for many years on Grasty Road in Brooklandville.

Mr. Kilberg, who was fluent in Yiddish, enjoyed translating its witty puns, expressions and gentle humor into English for his friends who didn't speak Yiddish, family members said.

For many years, Mr. Kilberg, an avid volleyball player, was a member of various Jewish Community Center leagues. He also was a subscriber to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and enjoyed attending the theater.

He was a member of Oheb Shalom Congregation.

His wife of 58 years, the former Hilary Carol Zieve, a well-known Baltimore voice-over artist, died in 2003.

There are no services.

Also surviving are another son, Richard L. Kilberg of New York City; a daughter, Drue L. Whitney of Baltimore; two brothers, Maurice Kilberg and David Kilberg, both of Baltimore; a sister, Sylvia Winer of Baltimore; and seven grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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