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J. Edward Sieff Dead at 76

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J. Edward Sieff, eldest surviving male member of Britain’s leading Zionist family, and honorary president of the Zionist Federation, died last night, three weeks short of his 77th birthday.

“Teddy” Sieff, as he was popularly known, was the younger bother of the late Israel Sieff, and uncle of the present Lord Marcus Sieff.

Like the rest of the Sieff family he was deeply devoted to the Zionist cause. At the end of 1974 he narrowly escaped death when an Arab terrorist forced his way into his London house and shot him through the jaw. He later said that he owed his survival to his very strong teeth.

He was active in the Joint Israel Appeal, serving as chairman from 1961 to 1965 when he become president. He took particular interest in the Israel office of the Zionist Federation as well as its Hebrew day schools movement in Britain.

He was chairman of Marks Spencer, one of Britain’s leading retail chains, from 1967 to 1972, and president until 1979 when he became honorary president, having served the company nearly 50 years. Born Joseph Edward Sieff in Manchester, it was there that he first came into contact with Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel.

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