The Trustees and staff of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust deeply mourn the passing of Museum Trustee Dale Hemmerdinger. A pillar of New York City, he was deeply involved in local government, civic, and community affairs. A donor to the Museum since its opening, he joined the Museum’s board in 2018 where he lent his keen intellect to help further our mission. We offer our deepest condolences to his wife Elizabeth, his children Damon and Kate, and to the rest of the Hemmerdinger family.
H. Dale Hemmerdinger, a prominent New York City businessman, civic leader and noted philanthropist who spent more than half a century building his family’s real estate development company, died on April 20, 2023 surrounded by family. He was 78. The cause was complications from post-Covid pneumonia.
Born in 1944 in Washington, DC and raised in New York, Mr. Hemmerdinger joined the family business, ATCO Properties & Management, in 1967. Under his visionary and decisive leadership, ATCO grew to become a major force in the real estate world, developing, owning and managing millions of square feet of prestigious commercial and residential properties across New York City and multiple other leading U.S. markets.
A dedicated New Yorker who aspired early in life to become a diplomat, Mr. Hemmerdinger immersed himself in local government, civic and community affairs in the hope of creating a better New York for all residents. He invested countless hours mentoring promising young politicians, some of whom went on to serve in the highest ranks of City and State government.
Mr. Hemmerdinger served as chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority during the Great Recession of 2008. His efforts were instrumental in helping the MTA navigate the fiscal crisis while maintaining service levels and keeping fare increases to a minimum. He also oversaw the start of construction on the recently completed East Side Access tunnels that now bring LIRR service to Grand Central. During his tenure, the MTA set two records for on-time performance. His other prominent civic appointments included service as a Commissioner on the NYC Conciliation and Appeals Board and a member of the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination.
Universally regarded for his keen intellect, integrity, and vast generosity, Mr. Hemmerdinger served as chairman of both the Citizens Budget Commission and the New York City Police Foundation, where he created the Hemmerdinger Award for Excellence. The award, which recognizes police officers for their service to the community, has now been bestowed on more than 165 police officers over the past 34 years.
Mr. Hemmerdinger was a devoted Trustee of his alma mater New York University and served on the board of directors at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Nightingale-Bamford School, the Naval War College, and Harlem Academy. He grew his community of friends through his memberships at the Harmonie Club, Beach Point Club, University Club, New York Yacht Club, the Family Farm, and the Century Association.
He is survived by his loving family, his wife, Elizabeth, his children, Damon and Kate, his daughter-in-law Jacquie, his son-in-law Adam Goodman, his grandchildren Benjamin, Ellis, Jordan, Zachary, and Jacob, his sister Lyn, and his brother-in-law John Fischbach.