Howard Gittis

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Howard Gittis
Born(1934-02-16)February 16, 1934
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedSeptember 17, 2007(2007-09-17) (aged 73)

Howard Gittis (February 16, 1934 – September 17, 2007) was an American attorney known for being a longtime adviser to Ronald Perelman and an adviser to the mayor of Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo.


Gittis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Philadelphia's Central High School[1] and earned his economics and law degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He served in the U.S. Air Force at an Illinois airbase. After his military duty, he accepted a job offer from Tom McBride who had just been elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.[2] McBride lost his subsequent election, leading McBride to found his namesake law firm and keep Gittis by his side. This led to a merger with Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen where Gittis eventually became managing partner. Gittis worked at Wolf Block for 25 years. He continued in a consulting capacity to Wolf Block for a few years after he relocated to New York with MacAndrews & Forbes, a holding company owned by Ronald Perelman.[2]

Gittis and Perelman first met in the 1970s. Gittis became Perelman's trusted adviser and friend. Gittis also acted as an adviser for the politician Frank Rizzo, whom he successfully defended from an attempted recall. In 1985, Gittis was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the top 100 attorneys in the country.[3]


Gittis, the son of Russian immigrants, was the first in his family to go to college.[1] He married twice and had four daughters.[4]


Gittis died in his sleep at his Manhattan home on September 16, 2007, from heart failure.[4]


  1. ^ a b Hillel J. Hoffmann (2007). "Trustee and former board chair Howard Gittis dies at 73". Temple University. Retrieved 2007-04-01.
  2. ^ a b Larry Teitelbaum (2004). "Nearing 20 years as a dealmaker, Gittis still relishes a little risk and reward". Temple University. Archived from the original on 2005-11-11. Retrieved 2007-04-01.
  3. ^ Stephen Miller (September 19, 2007). "Howard Gittis, 73, Businessman, Perelman Adviser". New York Sun. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Mark Schoifet (2007). "Howard Gittis, Adviser to Ronald Perelman, Dies at 73". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2007-04-02.