Page 10

Titan of business and philanthropy, Gary Winnick '69 never loses sight of his family and roots. By Jim H. Smith

I

n the late 1950s a popular television series called The Millionaire told the stories of people—average Americans from all walks of life—whose lives were altered suddenly by the gift of $1 million bestowed by a man named Michael Anthony, executive secretary of an anonymous benefactor named John Beresford Tipton Jr. Thousands of Americans tuned in each week to see how the lives of Tipton’s beneficiaries played out. One of those viewers was a Fresh Meadows, Queens resident named Gary Winnick (B.A. ’69), who was eight years old when The Millionaire began its five-year run. Like lots of youngsters watching television, Winnick often fantasized about being one of the characters. But it wasn’t Tipton, wealthy enough to give away a million dollars to a complete stranger every week. Nor was it the recipients of Tipton’s largesse. “I wanted to be Michael Anthony,” he recalled. “I wanted to be the guy who actually handed people the check.” In the summer of 1957, like thousands of post-war New Yorkers, Arnold and Blanche Winnick and their children—Gary Winnick, older brother Roy (’66), and Susan—migrated east for the American dream of home ownership on Long Island, settling in the historic Mackay Estate development of Roslyn, N.Y., Winnick spent the rest of his childhood in an area known as the “Gold Coast.” It’s where he got his driver’s license and his first job, graduated from high school and, while he was a student at LIU Post (then C.W. Post), experienced the most profound moment of his young adulthood. Gold Coast Inspiration For Winnick, the Gold Coast became a source of inspiration as he grew into adolescence. “I would drive around the area and look at the mansions and imagine the industrial titans who had lived here,” he said. “I thought about how those people came to America as immigrants and made something of themselves.”

10

Fall 2014 | LIU Magazine

LIU Magazine - Fall 2014  
LIU Magazine - Fall 2014  
Advertisement