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John Cali, Former Mack-Cali Chairman, Dies at 95

02/05/2014 | By Sarah Borchersen-Keto

Photo courtesy of: Mike Peters/Montclair State University

New Jersey-based Mack-Cali Realty Corp. (NYSE:CLI) an office and multifamily REIT,  announced Feb. 4 that former chairman John Cali has died at the age of 95.

Cali founded Cali Associates in 1949 with his brother Angelo Cali and business associate Edward Leshowitz. He served as chairman of the board of the directors when Cali Associates went public in 1994 as Cali Realty Corp. Cali remained as chairman when Cali Realty merged in 1997 with the Mack Company. He retired as chairman of Mack-Cali in 2000, but he stayed on as chairman emeritus until 2003.

Mitchell Hersh, Mack-Cali’s president and chief executive officer, commented that Cali’s impact on the real estate industry in the New Jersey region “will forever be evident.”

“His experience, knowledge, guidance, philanthropy, and friendship will be greatly missed,” Hersh said.

Outside of work, Cali was involved with a variety of groups and organizations. Cali and his family made a $5 million gift to Montclair State University in 2008 that helped the university establish the John J. Cali School of Music, the only university-based music school in New Jersey. Cali also served as president of the Office Developers Association of New Jersey.

Cali, along with his brother Angelo and other family members, was also a founder of Cali Futures, LLC, which focuses on real estate investment projects in the New Jersey region.

Cali received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1996 from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. The annual award is given to “American citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups while exemplifying the values of the American way of life,” according to the organization.