Salesman, writer, music aficionado and kibitzer Leonard Bloom died on Jan. 21 of complications related to a heart attack. He was 86.
Mr. Bloom spent the last years of his life as a resident at the Hebrew Home for the Aged, just like his father Saul, who worked at The Riverdale Press in the ‘60s.
Mr. Bloom was born on April 2, 1927 in Harlem. He was a graduate of Junior High School 43 in Brooklyn and George Washington High School in north Manhattan. He attended City College after spending two years in the U.S. Army from 1945-1947, where he was based in Europe.
In 1947, he married his wife, Gloria Popkin. They moved to Riverdale from Manhattan in 1957. The couple celebrated their 66th anniversary in November.
Mr. Bloom’s primary work was as a printing, typesetting and thermography salesman. He worked for such companies as Regency Thermographers, Independent Printing, David E. Seham Associates and Elite Personalized Creations.
For a short time, he and his brother Murray owned Globe Rubber Stamp on Jerome Avenue.
But it was his work in the entertainment industry that he was most proud of.
Mr. Bloom was a lyricist who co-wrote songs with Eric Knight, Frank Como and others. He was a longtime member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
One of his songs, titled “Yo Di Yo,” was released as a 45 record by the Colpix label in 1961.
He wrote scripts for the stage acts of such performers as Eddie Fisher, Tony Messina and Don Stewart.
In addition, he played upright bass and drums in U.S. Army bands while in the service, and teamed up with his friend Morris Bay to entertain at weddings and bar mitzvahs.
Mr. Bloom displayed tremendous affection for and knowledge about the Great American Songbook, dating to the Tin Pan Alley era . He was a member of the New York Sheet Music Society.
An athlete who excelled at baseball, he was a catcher on his high school team and while in the service, and once tried out for the New York Giants.
Mr. Bloom is survived by his wife Gloria, sons Barry and Steven, grandchildren Joanna and Raphael and nephews Neil, Bruce and Michael.