Aaron Margolis, attorney

Aaron Margolis, an attorney active in Zionist organizations, died of complications of a pituitary adenoma Feb. 10 at the North Oaks Retirement Community. The former Northwest Baltimore resident was 87.

Born in Baltimore, he was the son of Minnie and Samson Margolis, a picture framer and calligraphy artist. He grew up on East Baltimore Street and attended Polytechnic Institute.


For two years in the mid-1930s, the family lived in what was then Palestine, but returned to Baltimore when the elder Mr. Margolis could not find work or earn enough there in the Depression, family members said.

Mr. Margolis lied about his age to join the Army's Air Corps during World War II. He became a flight navigator and trainer. The war ended before he could be shipped overseas.


After his military service, he worked alongside his father, who had established Samson's Art Center, a picture framing and calligraphy business on Charles Street near the Hotel Belvedere. He also began taking classes at the University of Baltimore's School of Law, where he graduated cum laude in 1953.

According to a biography his family supplied, Mr. Margolis practiced administrative, business and labor law in downtown Baltimore. He then established the firm of Margolis, Prtizker and Epstein, now Margolis, Prtizker, Epstein and Blatt in Towson.

Mr. Margolis also worked in corporate law and in estate planning and probate for more than four decades. He reduced his work two years ago.

"My father was active in numerous organizations and movements, especially those relating to judicial and racial equality, the separation of church and state and to local charity," said his son, Morris Margolis, an energy engineer who lives in Rockville. "He was a lifelong Zionist."

Mr. Margolis said his father was active in the Farband Labor Zionist Organization and the Labor Zionist Alliance. He was a supporter of NA'AMAT USA, a group that had been known as Pioneer Women.

Mr. Margolis belonged to the Maryland chapter of the American Jewish Congress. He also marched during the August 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.

He later served as president of the Maryland chapter of the American Jewish Congress and was a member of that group's national governing council. He was also an AJC delegate to the Baltimore Jewish Council for 30 years.

He served on the legal panel of the American Civil Liberties Union in the 1960s and was active in the lawyers section of the former Associated Jewish Charities & Welfare Fund.

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Mr. Margolis served on the boards of the Jewish Community Center, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, the Comprehensive Housing of the Elderly program of Associated Jewish Charities and the Jewish Community Center.

He was a supporter and member of the Black-Jewish Forum, the National Yiddish Book Center, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Jewish War Veterans, the Jewish Educational Alliance and People for the American Way.

He was also a supporter of Israel. He and his wife made numerous visits to Israel and were major contributors to the establishment of the Fannie and Jacob Drazen NA'AMAT Vocational High School in Nahariyah, Israel, as well as the Celia and Leon Levinson/Dorothy and Aaron Margolis Day Care Center in Roth Ha'Ayin near Tel Aviv.

In his free time, he attended the old Morris A. Mechanic Theatre and Orioles games at Memorial Stadium. He also fished.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 58 years, the former Dorothy Drazen, a retired Julius Gutman advertising artist; another son, Jacob Margolis of Reno, Nev.; and three grandchildren.

Services were held Feb. 12 at Sol Levinson and Bros.