Martin Atlas, 82, Real Estate Executive

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 28, 1997 | Go to article overview

Martin Atlas, 82, Real Estate Executive


Martin Atlas, 82, a former president of the Cafritz Co. and a prominent real estate tax lawyer, died of lymphoma March 25 at his home in Washington.

Mr. Atlas was president of Cafritz for many years. It was one of Washington's largest real estate companies.

He was the architect of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, created by real estate developer Morris Cafritz. Mr. Atlas became president and CEO of the foundation in 1989 after the death of Gwendolyn Cafritz.

Donating more than $6 million annually, the foundation contributes to major arts, education and social programs in the District.

Under the direction of Mr. Atlas, the foundation became a major supporter and contributor to the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Opera, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Ford's Theater.

Notable contributions by the foundation include commissioning the massive Henry Moore sculpture that stands at the entrance to the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art and the Alexander Calder "stabile" outside the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The foundation also contributed to the front portal doors of the Washington National Cathedral and underwrote the Academy Award-winning film about the construction of the cathedral, "The Stone Carvers." To ensure that the first U.S. performance of the famed Bolshoi Opera would occur in Washington, the foundation endowed the performance at the Kennedy Center.

Under Mr. Atlas' leadership, the foundation also has been a major source of financial support for many community services, such as the Capital Children's Museum. …

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Martin Atlas, 82, Real Estate Executive
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