Jules Joskow, who helped found one of the first ever international economic consulting firms, died last week, along with his wife, Charlotte, who formerly taught in the New York City Public Schools system. They each were 89 years old.
The Joskows, who resided in Great Neck for several decades, both died several days following an automobile accident outside the Glen Head County Club on July 7, one of the couple’s sons Paul Joskow confirmed on Monday.
“They were a team,” Joskow said of his parents. “They were partners. People always talked about ‘Charlotte and Jules,’ not one or the other. They supported each other. They were model people in many ways.”
Charlotte Joskow passed away on Sunday, July 8 and her husband, Jules, died on Tuesday, July 10.
The couple was planning on having a joint celebration for their 90th birthdays this week, as Charlotte’s was on July 14 and Jules’ was on July 19.
“It was a shock and it happened so quickly,” Paul Joskow said of the death of his parents, who were married for 68 years. “I’ve seen quite a bit of my parents over the past few months and they were full of life. I never expected to lose them both at one time and to lose them in this way.”
While attempting to turn into the Glen Head Country Club at about 7 p.m. on July 7, the Joskow’s 2008 Mercedes was struck by a Hicksville man driving a 1990 Acura, Paul Joskow and a Nassau County Police Department spokesperson confirmed.
According to a story in Newsday, the driver of the other vehicle was ticketed by county police for not carrying a driver’s license, but no criminal charges were filed against the man who was hospitalized following the accident.
A Nassau County Police Department spokesman on Monday was unable to verify the ticket given to the unidentified driver of the vehicle whose car struck the Joskow’s Mercedes or the lack of charges against the man.
The Joskow’s were buried last Thursday.
“We had a very personal, private funeral (last) Thursday involving their children and grand children and (Jules’) sister and his niece and a couple other close relatives,” Paul Joskow said. “Seeing the two coffins there was very sad, but I think people spoke very nice about them and realized they had a great life.”
“I’d like to see them remembered,” he added, “as people who were successful in the activities they pursued.”
Jules Joskow, who was born in the Bronx, and Charlotte, who grew up in Brooklyn, met on the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach in Queens.
After graduating from City College in Manhattan with a degree in economics, Jules went on to earn a PhD. from Columbia University.
Charlotte was educated at Hunter College and earned a degree in education. She went on to teach math and business in the New York City Public school system and later became a stay-at-home mother, raising the couple’s three children.
“They had a great life,” Paul Joskow said. “They were children of immigrant parents with a humble background. My mother brought up the kids and was involved in charity work. They lived life to the fullest.”
Jules Joskow began his professional career as a professor at City College where he taught economics and statistics for in the 1940s and 1950s.
During that time, Jules also worked as an advisor to utility and telecommunications companies.
But in 1961, Jules went on to help create the business venture that Paul Joskow said defined his father’s career.
Along with Irwin Stelzer and the late Fred Kahn, Jules Joskow co-founded National Economic Research Associates, which former NERA President Richard Rapp said was the first ever consulting firm of its kind.
“He was the epitome of everything the rest of us wanted to be,” Rapp said of Jules Joskow. “He combined integrity, gravitas - that is to say seriousness - but he had a wonderful sense of humor. He was an excellent statistician and economist and a very particular specialist in the economics of telecommunications.”
Jules Joskow served as NERA’s vice president when the firm was first founded and had 17 employees in offices in New York and Washington D.C.
From 1985 until 1991, Jules Joskow served as NERA’s president and its chairman of the board.
Now more than 20 years after Jules Joskow retired, NERA has grown to include more than 600 employees in offices throughout the United States and across the world.
In 1983, Marsh & McLennan, a global financial firm, purchased NERA and operates the consulting agency today.
“You will rarely hear the word ‘beloved’ used in connection with consulting firm leaders, but he certainly was beloved by those of us who worked with him and were his friends,” Rapp said of Joskow.
And the growth of NERA into the international consulting firm it is today, is directly tied to Jules Joskow’s influence on the company, Rapp said.
Jules Joskow’s also was a leader in what Rapp said was elevating women to “senior positions” in the consulting business during the early years of NERA’s existence.
“Jules and his partner in the firm, Irwin Stelzer, were purely meritocratic in their outlook,” Rapp said. “In consequence, women economists - very, very capable ones - found themselves with great opportunities at NERA.”
NERA’s current president Andrew Carron said Jules Joskow’s influence on the economic consulting business, along with his former firm, remains intact today.
“We will forever be grateful, not only for Jules’ stewardship in establishing NERA as a leading economic consulting firm, but also for his contributions to the field of economics,” Carron said in a statement. “Even though Jules retired as NERA president over 20 years ago, he remained a part of the firm and the values he instilled in his colleagues and his dedication to integrity, quality and service remain in place today.”
The success of NERA throughout the years was a major source of pride for Jules Joskow, his son, Paul, said.
“I think he tool pride in the work he did for his clients and the work he did for his business,” Paul Joskow said.
Along with the dedication to his career, Paul Joskow said his father was involved in several community endeavors along with his mother.
The couple were longtime members of Temple Emanuel of Great Neck, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Congress and the UJA-Federation of New York.
“They liked to travel,” Paul Joskow said of his parents. “They liked to do many different types of cultural things. I’d like them to be remembered as people of the world.”
At the time of their deaths, the Joskows lived primarily in Boca Raton, Fla., but Paul Joskow said his parents returned to Great Neck often.
“As they got older they decided to spend most of their time in Florida, but they always came back in the summer for at least two or three months,” Paul Joskow said of his parents, who first moved to Great Neck in 1969.
Along with their son Paul, who lives in Manhattan and Boston, the Joskows are survived by another son Andrew, of Arlington, Va.
The Joskows are also survived by five grandchildren and Jules’ sister Rosalyn Murray of New Hyde Park. The couple had a daughter, Margaret, who Paul Joskow said died eight years ago.