Gerard Leon Cafesjian (26 April 1925 – 15 September 2013) has certainly left a notable legacy that his descendants can be proud of. He is the founder of three well-known non-profit foundations, namely, the Cafesjian Museum Foundation (CMF), the Cafesjian Family Foundation (CFF), and the Cafesjian Center for the Arts.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Cafesjian’s parents barely escaped the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. He became a sailor aboard the USS Oceanographer, a survey boat, as well as on USS Andres, a destroyer escort, during World War II.
He earned his degree in economics at the Cornell University and his doctorate of jurisprudence degree from the Columbia Law School; he finished both in just 5½ years. He became a member of the New York Bar Association.
He was first employed as legal editor at West Publishing and rose up the ranks to become its executive vice president with responsibility over sales, marketing, public relations, and customer service as well as office training and development.