William Frost, former JTA president, dies


NEW YORK (JTA) — William Lee Frost, a Jewish philanthropist who was a former president of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, has died.

Frost died Wednesday in New York at 84.

He was the chairman of the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, whose interests involve supporting Judaica book funds and scholarly research on Jewish studies, as well as a director of the PEF Israel Endowment Funds and a trustee of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism.

Frost, a native of Larchmont, N.Y., followed in the footsteps of his father, Charles, a longtime director of the JTA, when he was elected president of the news agency in 1985.

He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and attended Harvard College as an undergraduate, where he became the founding president of the campus Hillel. Later he attended Yale Law School and then the Harvard Graduate School of Public Administration.

Frost served as a foreign service officer in Yugoslavia, Austria and Germany. Later in his legal practice he specialized in management and investments.

He was a past chairman of the New York Heart Association.

His son, Robert, wrote in a statement that his father’s hobbies included "rambling, whether around Manhattan, the Rockies or Scotland, and often singing as he strolled to whomever crossed his path."

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