In a career of more than 70 years, he was a lawyer and businessman with interests in philanthropy and in global economic and political affairs. With his wife, the former Miriam Gottesman, he created a charitable foundation whose beneficiaries included the New York Public Library, Columbia University, the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Mr. Wallach was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War and many policies of the Nixon administration. He was named in a White House memorandum listing Nixon’s “political opponents,” one step down from the notorious “enemies list” — people who were singled out for tax audits and other problems.
In 1980, Mr. Wallach co-founded the Institute for East West Security Studies, now known as the EastWest Institute, a research group that focuses on international political, economic and security issues.
He earned bachelor’s and law degrees from Columbia University and was a Navy lieutenant in World War II.
In 1946 he joined Gottesman & Company, as it was then known, as executive vice president. He was the chief executive and a director of the company from 1956 to 1979, later serving as chairman and then senior vice chairman, the title he held at his death. During his tenure, the company, which is based in Purchase, N.Y., grew from a relatively small wood pulp distributor into an organization with operations in 18 countries.
Through the Miriam G. and Ira D. Wallach Foundation, gifts established an art gallery and a professorship at Columbia, an orientation hall at the American Museum of Natural History and paid for improvements at many other institutions.
In addition to his wife, whom he married in 1938, Mr. Wallach is survived by two daughters, Sue W. Wachenheim, of Rye, and Kate W. Cassidy, of East Hampton; a son, Kenneth L., of New York City; 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.more » « less