Philanthropist Morris Silverman dies at 93

Morris "Marty" Silverman, a philanthropist who established the nation's richest prize for medical research and donated millions of dollars to causes in the Albany area and elsewhere, died Thursday. He was 93. Silverman continued working regularly until his health faltered six weeks ago, said John Egan, president of the nonprofit Renaissance Corp. of Albany that Silverman founded in 1995. No official cause of death was given. "He kind of wore out," Egan said. Through his $300 million foundation, Silverman donated to academic, Jewish, veterans and social causes, including a Holocaust museum in Houston, as well as housing for thousands of former Soviet Jews in Israel and programs to help neglected children and indigent seniors. Gov. George Pataki said the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center in Saratoga Springs was established with Silverman's support. He ordered the flag there lowered in his honor on Friday. In his memoir "Stepping Stones," Silverman recalled growing up in the Jewish section of Troy, where he lived with his two sisters and Polish immigrant parents in a wood-frame house on a hill across the Hudson River from Albany.