Melville “Mickey” Straus, a New York money manager with a passion for the visual and performing arts who helped lead cultural groups in Manhattan and its summer getaway, the Hamptons, for three decades, has died. He was 75.
He died on May 1 2014 at his home in New York City, according to a death notice in the New York Times. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor in September 2012.
A onetime security analyst at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, Straus formed Straus Asset Management LLC in 1998 and, as managing principal, oversaw about $200 million as of 2012, according to a biography on the website of his alma mater, Dartmouth College.
He was chairman of the American Ballet Theatre from 1982 to 1990, treasurer-secretary of Independent Curators International and served as a member of the Contemporary Arts Council of the Museum of Modern Art.
From 1995 to 2013, he was chairman of Guild Hall, a cultural center in East Hampton on New York’s Long Island. Straus also led the creation of the Hamptons Institute, a series of symposiums on topical issues presented by Guild Hall in collaboration with the New York-based Roosevelt Institute.
Straus was born on March 16, 1939, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona. He became interested in the stock market, according to a 2013 interview he gave to the East Hampton Star, after receiving 50 shares of Montgomery Ward from his father, Milton, when he was in high school.
He graduated from Dartmouth, in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1960 and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in Boston in 1967. He then went to work for Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette.
Straus joined Standard & Poor’s InterCapital Inc., an asset manager, when it was formed in 1969, serving as vice president and director of research. He moved in 1973 to Weiss Peck & Greer LLC.
Straus married Susan Solomon in 1965 and Susan F. Paull in 1979.
His survivors include his wife, the former Leila Maw, owner of a New York media-consulting firm, who he married in 1986; a son, Scott, who he had with Solomon; a son, Benjamin, and daughter, Alexandra, who he had with Maw.more » « less