MARTIN E. SEGAL (1916 – 2012)

New York, NY – (August 6, 2012) One of New York City’s leading cultural figures, a former chairman of Lincoln Center as well as the founding president and chief executive of the Film Society of Lincoln Center for several years, Martin E. Segal died Sunday, August 5 in New York.

Born July 4, 1916 in Vitebsk, Russia, Martin E. Segal was the founder of The Segal Company in 1939, retiring as its chairman in 1991. He was the founding president of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and chief executive from 1968 to 1978 and president emeritus since that time, as well as the chairman of Lincoln Center from 1981 to 1986, at which time he became chairman emeritus.

Segal served on many other Boards and committees of major civic, cultural, health, and educational organizations, including being the first chairman of New York’s Commission for Cultural Affairs, from 1975-1977 and founding the International Festival of the Arts, which ran from 1985-2002. He was also vice chairman of the Graduate Center Foundation of The City University of New York from 2003-2008. Segal had received numerous awards and honors as well as seven honorary degrees.

Responding to Segal’s passing, FSLC issued a statement saying, “The Board and the staff of the Film Society of Lincoln Center are deeply saddened by the death of its founding President, Martin E. Segal, who devotedly guided our organization through its formative years and beyond. Marty's generosity and enthusiastic involvement created the foundation for the Film Society's growth and stability for more than four decades. Most notably, his brilliant initiative in arranging for the Film Society's tribute for Charlie Chaplin on the occasion of his return to the United States resulted in a historic event. His creative mind, quick wit and charm will be missed by all of us.”

Film Society of Lincoln Center
Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, the Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, currently planning its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award”—to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, 42BELOW, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit

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