Richard H. Markowitz, 90, of Meadowbrook, a Philadelphia labor lawyer, died Sunday, Aug. 14, of renal failure at his home.
Mr. Markowitz came from a family that immigrated to the United States from Austria-Hungary in the early 1880s. His father, Samuel H. Markowitz, who was born in Pottstown in 1892, became a Reform rabbi.
Richard Markowitz grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Elmira, N.Y. He graduated from the Elmira Free Academy in 1942.
Although his college studies were interrupted by service in the Navy, he graduated from Yale University with a bachelor's degree in economics. He then earned a degree from Harvard Law School in 1949.
In February 1948, while at Harvard, he met Paula Rudy, an undergraduate at Radcliffe College. The two were married in September that same year.
After Mr. Markowitz finished law school, the couple moved to Philadelphia, where he began his legal career. His wife graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and joined him in the practice of law. They worked together from an office on S. Broad Street for more than 50 years.
In 1950, he worked part time in the Philadelphia City Solicitor's Office before turning his attention full time to labor law.
In 1979, he joined Stephen Richman to form the law firm of Markowitz & Richman, which operated in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. The firm is known for its work with unions and employee benefit plans.
A member of the Bar for more than 66 years, Mr. Markowitz was committed "to raising the standard of living for working men and women, and protecting their institutional rights," his family wrote in a tribute.
Though a fierce litigator, Mr. Markowitz also showed empathy and understanding, his family said, and even his courtroom opponents respected him.
"Of all the people I have met during my 40 years, Dick stood out as a lawyer and a person. He was one of a kind and will be missed," said David E. Leach III, regional director, National Labor Relations Board, Region 22.
As the senior partner at Markowitz & Richman, he provided leadership for decades while mentoring younger colleagues.
Among his clients were the International Union of Elevator Constructors, the Metallic Lathers union, and the Communications Workers of America.
"He loved his work and was dedicated to his clients," his family wrote.
He was a member of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He sat on the American Bar Association's Committee on Practice and Procedure before the National Labor Relations Board, and was on the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers List, which rates lawyers. He was admitted to the Bar in Pennsylvania and New York.
When not working, Mr. Markowitz enjoyed worldwide travel, reading, music, the arts, and playing bridge.
He and his wife spent their 50th wedding anniversary visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Above all, he valued spending time with family.
In his Harvard Law School 50th reunion class notes, he vowed to enjoy the practice of law as long as he could. Indeed, he never retired, his family wrote.
Besides his wife of 67 years, he is survived by sons Andrew and David, daughter Ellen, and two grandchildren. A sister died earlier.
Services were Monday, Aug. 15.
Contributions may be made to the Jenkintown Library, 460 Old York Rd., Jenkintown, Pa. 19046.