Owned a $500 million real estate empire that includes a full or partial stake in 10 buildings in Manhattan, including five facing Central Park.
After graduating from City College with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, he joined the Navy and served in Germany during World War II.
With the help of the G.I. Bill, he earned a master’s degree in engineering from Columbia University and worked as a field supervisor for the real estate developer Sam Minskoff. A few years later, he started his own company.
His first residential projects were in the Bronx, where he and his wife lived when Eliot was born in 1959. In 1985, with several partners, he bought the former East Side Airlines terminal in Manhattan and built the Corinthian, the largest residential building in the city at the time, with more than 800 apartments. In 1963, he also developed an apartment building at Central Park South and Seventh Avenue with a curved design to allow for better park views and, in 1991, purchased the Crown Building, a historic commercial building on Fifth Avenue, with two partners for $93.6 million. Through his family foundation, he donated millions of dollars to the architecture school at the City College of New York and funded a hall about human evolution at the American Museum of Natural History, both of which are named after him and his wife, Anne.
In addition to his wife Anne and his son Eliot, Mr. Spitzer is survived by another son, Daniel, a neurosurgeon; a daughter, Emily Spitzer, a lawyer; and seven grandchildren.
In recent years Eliot Spitzer has had a leadership role at the family-run company Spitzer Engineering.
In 2008 he faced discrimination charges from four African American workers who had been fired from their jobs as workers in one of Spitzer's buildings. While a Bronx jury ruled in favor of the four plaintiffs, the decision was reversed by an appellate court.more » « less