Jay Kriegel, Related senior adviser and ex-mayoral chief of staff, dies

Kriegel enjoyed a lengthy career in both the public and private sectors of New York

Jay Kriegel (Credit: Kent Presents)
Jay Kriegel (Credit: Kent Presents)

Jay Kriegel, a senior adviser at Related Companies and former chief of staff to Mayor John Lindsay, has died of cancer at age 79, a Related spokeswoman confirmed.

Kriegel had a lengthy career in New York City and served as Lindsay’s chief of staff from 1966 to 1973. His accomplishments during his tenure included opening the city’s Washington office, creating the Civilian Complaint Review Board and serving as the city’s first director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

Kriegel also led New York’s bid to host the 2012 Olympics, co-founded The American Lawyer magazine and worked as a senior vice president at CBS. He served as chairman of Brooklyn Jewish Hospital and on the boards of Prep for Prep, New Visions for Public Schools and the After School Corporation as well.

He joined Related in 2007 and helped the company complete the launch of its massive Hudson Yards project.

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“The energy Jay brought to his work made him a cherished personal and professional friend, mentor and leader in the Related family,” Related chairman and founder Stephen Ross said in a statement. “For nearly 40 years, he worked tirelessly with officials in the City of New York, Washington D.C., and the business community to help build a better city for all New Yorkers.”

The Real Estate Board of New York plans to posthumously honor Kriegel with the John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award at its annual banquet in January.

“He was a trusted adviser to mayors, governors and senators and advocated for affordable housing, better schools and good jobs,” REBNY chair William Rudin and president James Whelan said in a joint statement. “From the development of Hudson Yards to assisting a national campaign to save the deductibility of state and local taxes in the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Jay’s contributions made a positive impact on millions of people across the five boroughs and will stand the test of time.”

A celebration of Kriegel was held on Nov. 18 and attended by a who’s who of New York real estate, along with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who spoke and declared the day Jay Kriegel Day. Kriegel was unable to attend because of his illness.

“For half a century, Jay has been devoted to making this a better place, and there is no question in my mind that New York City today is a much, much better place because Jay Kriegel was one of the people who was here to lead and guide and mentor and support and inspire every step along the way, decade after decade,” de Blasio said. “We are better because of Jay Kriegel, period.”