Myron Helfgott

Myron J "Mike" Helfgott

1926 - 2018

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Obituary of Myron J Helfgott

Myron “Mike” Judah Helfgott, Ph.D., passed away peacefully at his home in Delhi, NY, on September 5, 2018.  Mike was born in Brooklyn, NY, on May 3, 1926. He was a World War II vet who was engaged in unforgettable combat as one of the first troops to cross the River Rhine in the legendary battle of Operation Plunder. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Brooklyn College in 1948, a Master of Arts in Social Psychology from New York University in 1949, and a doctorate in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1952.

After working as a Research Study Director at Columbia University’s Bureau of Applied Social Research and as a Lecturer in Social Psychology at Columbia University, Mike began his career in advertising in the Research Department of Young & Rubicam, Inc. From 1957-1962, he was Vice President of Marketing Research at Lippincott & Margulies, Inc., which was at the time America’s largest industrial design firm. From 1962 to 1982, he was Chief Executive Officer of Helfgott and Partners, Inc. (later Helfgott, Towne & Silverstein, Inc.), an award-winning New York City advertising agency that offered services in advertising, marketing, trademark, and package design, as well as marketing and consumer research. For over 25 years Mike was a widely-respected expert in litigation claims involving trademarks, names and symbols, packaging products design, and advertising. He provided critical survey research information as well as expert testimony in numerous legal cases and was widely regarded (by attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants) for his meticulous research and expertise. During his advertising and legal consulting careers, he personally conducted hundreds of survey research assignments and supervised thousands of others. His clients included over 300 of the 500 largest US corporations.

For over a decade, Mike, with his husband Steven, owned and operated Stephen’s Antiques on Main St. in Delhi, New York. A true Renaissance man, Mike was always willing to share his vast knowledge on a wide-range of topics including philosophy, Japanese art, opera, world religions, and architecture and design. He felt fortunate to have been able to travel the world, making friends and learning about their customs and cultures.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Nathaniel and Selma [née Tainsky] Helfgott, his husband, Steven Renfroe, his sister, Alice Silverblatt, and his brother-in-law, Morton Silverblatt. He remains deeply loved and respected by many friends and family, including, among others, cousin Maidy Rappaport, cousin Eleanor Jaffe, nephews Gene Silverblatt (Christine Svoboda) and Alan Silverblatt (Laurie), nieces Carrie Sue Ayvar (Facundo) and Sugar Murphy, great-nephews Khalil Ayvar, Julian Murphy, and Nathaniel Silverblatt, great-niece Soralee Ayvar, great-great-nephew Logan Ayvar Soto, cousins Randi Jaffe (David Roe), Matthew Jaffe Roe (Lena), Gabriel Roe, Sophie Roe, Adam Roe, Leandra Hahn, Howard Jaffe (Irene Rosenzweig), Nate Jaffe, Talia Jaffe, Jon Rappaport, Izak Rappaport, Max Rappaport, Lauren Rappaport, Lisa Rappaport, Haley Mileur, Zara Mileur, Jane Alder (Bob), Stephen Alder, and Brook Alder.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to his close friends and caregivers for the love and kindness they shared with Mike.

The funeral services will be private. Arrangements are under the directions of Hall and Peet in Delhi. Please visit their website  to share a story or condolence with the family.

May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.