We are sad to report that the founder of camera store Adorama, Mendel Mendlowits, has died at the age of 76. He passed away on April 8, 2020, which was announced earlier this week by Adorama.

Mendlowits was born in 1943 and survived the Holocaust with his sister, who hid him at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He came to the United States several years later with his father and sister, living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

He started working at age 17 for the family’s business, Mazel, a wholesaler of film, batteries and photo finishing equipment. While working there he opened the first Adorama store on 34th Street in Manhattan. He retired in 2014, but throughout his several years at Adorama, he showed his passion and expertise for the business, caring for customers along the way. Adorama described him this way:

If you ever had the honor of speaking with Mendel Mendlowits for any more than five minutes, you weren’t likely to forget him. His piercing, curious eyes stayed riveted on you throughout the conversation. His insatiable curiosity could turn a quick “hello” into an hour-long discussion. It was this curiosity, and his unstoppable drive to do what others thought could not be done, that made Mendel Mendlowits such an influential figure in the photography industry for more than 40 years.

Our thoughts are with the Mendlowits family, as well as his team at Adorama.

Lead photo by AndriyKo Podilnyk on Unsplash