Bob's life

Shared on 23rd March 2013

Robert S. Persky (Bob) was born 1/5/30 to Benjamin Persky, a butcher and Ethel Soman Persky, a homemaker and teacher.   He was raised in Jersey City, NJ along with his younger brother, Dr. Alan Persky. 

Bob attended NYU’s uptown campus and graduated in 1949. He attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1952.  He was a lifelong poker player and said that he earned spending money at law school playing poker.

After law school, Bob entered the army and was stationed in the Philippines.  He defended enlisted men in the military justice system.

After his discharge Bob clerked for Federal Judge Clarence G. Galston.  When his clerkship ended, he served on the Waterfront commission and there met Al Luca and Bob Mozer.  The three decided to start their own law firm which they called Luca, Moser and Persky.  When the firm disbanded, Bob joined a New York law firm, Amen Weisman and Butler.  He specialized in SEC and securities work.  In 1968, Bob and several other lawyers from Amen Weisman established Finley, Kumble, Underberg Persky and Roth.  This firm grew and at its peak was second largest law firm in the country.

After leaving Finley Kumble, Bob started one of the world’s first color photographic galleries which was located on 57th Street in New York City.  He also started a publishing business which focused on photography and included summaries of auction house results as well as catalogues of photographers and photography exhibitors. 

Bob was active in the Westside Young Democrats and served as Treasurer for Congressman William Fits Ryan who represented the upper West Side of Manhattan. Bob married Marilyn Bernstein Persky on December 18 1954 and they had three children: Steven, Joshua and Laura.  He separated from Marilyn in 1978. 

He met Lila Mukamal in Fire Island.  He and Lila were photographed for the front cover of New York Magazine This was the cover photo to a story on Women over 40 getting married for the first time.  He subsequently married Lila in 1987.  They lived in New York City and then moved to Reinbeck, New York. Bob loved opera, classical music, coffee, coffee ice cream, mystery novels, poker, the New York Times, vodka and movies.  He was adept with the barbecue.

Bob is survived by his wife, Lila Mukamal, brother Alan Persky, three children as well as nine grandchildren