Jay Kislak, a prominent real estate investor and chairman of Miami Lakes-based The Kislak Organization died at 96 in his Miami home, the company announced.
Kislak grew the investment company from a small family business with just six employees to more than 1,000 employees with multiple lines of business.
Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, Kislak became interested in real estate at an early age, according to his obituary.
He got his first real estate license while still in high school student at Newark Academy. He then went on to earn a degree in economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated early so he could serve as Naval Aviator in World War II.
Moving back to New Jersey in 1945 after his service, Kislak joined his family’s real estate business. In 1953, he moved to Miami to expand the company’s mortgage business and created Kislak National Bank in 1963. The bank focused on serving small business owners, condominium associations and residential borrowers. It was eventually sold to Banco Popular in 2005.
After his father became ill, Kislak took over the family business as CEO, and combined the company’s New Jersey and Florida operations in 1970.
He was involved in the business as chairman until his death. The Kislak Organization has acquired and managed more than 7,000 multifamily units, and brokered more than 1,550 commercial real estate transactions.
A celebration of his life will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday at Temple Beth Am at 5950 North Kendall Drive, Pinecrest.