(House of Representatives - September 06, 2006)

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[Congressional Record Volume 152, Number 108 (Wednesday, September 6, 2006)]
[Pages H6251-H6254]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the 
resolution (H. Res. 605) recognizing the life of Preston Robert Tisch 
and his outstanding contributions to New York City, the New York Giants 
Football Club, the National Football League, and the United States.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                              H. Res. 605

       Whereas Preston Robert ``Bob'' Tisch was born on April 
     29th, 1926, in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn to a 
     middle class family;
       Whereas Bob Tisch attended Erasmus Hall High School in 
     Brooklyn for 3 years and DeWitt Clinton High School in the 
     Bronx for one year;
       Whereas Bob Tisch earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 
     economics from the University of Michigan in 1948;
       Whereas in 1948 Bob Tisch joined a family hotel business 
     venture, the Laurel-in-the-Pines in Lakewood, New Jersey, 
     establishing the foundation for his success;
       Whereas from 1946 through 1959 Bob and Larry Tisch built a 
     thriving hotel chain spanning New York, New Jersey, and 
       Whereas in 1959 Bob and Larry Tisch acquired a controlling 
     interest in Loew's Theatres, consisting of 102 movie theatres 
     and a New York radio station, WMGM;
       Whereas the investment in Loew's Theatres formed the basis 
     for the modern-day Loews Corporation, which was created in 
       Whereas Bob and Larry Tisch built Loews Corporation into 
     one of the largest diversified financial corporations in the 
     United States;
       Whereas in 1986 Bob Tisch was appointed by the Board of 
     Governors of the United States Postal Service as Postmaster 
     General under the administration of President Ronald Reagan;
       Whereas in 1991 Bob Tisch purchased a 50 percent share in 
     the New York Giants Football Club;
       Whereas Bob Tisch helped create the Meals-on-Wheels program 
     and served as its president for over 10 years, frequently 
     delivering meals himself;
       Whereas Bob Tisch founded the Take the Field program, a 
     program which during the 1990s raised over $100,000,000 in 
     public and private funds to rebuild 43 athletic fields in New 
     York City for the use of hundreds of thousands of public 
     school students;
       Whereas Bob Tisch gave countless millions of dollars to 
     hospitals, charities, and universities in the spirit of 
     improving the lives of Americans;
       Whereas on November 15, 2005, Bob Tisch died of a brain 
     tumor at the age of 79; and
       Whereas the life of Bob Tisch serves as a model for self-
     made success and positive American philanthropy: Now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the House of Representatives, on the 
     occasion of the death of Preston Robert Tisch--
       (1) expresses its deepest condolences to his wife of 57 
     years Joan and their 3 children; and
       (2) recognizes the outstanding contributions Preston Robert 
     Tisch made throughout his life to New York City, the New York 
     Giants Football Club, the National Football League, and the 
     United States.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
North Carolina (Ms. Foxx) and the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from North Carolina.

                             General Leave

  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from North Carolina?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, Preston Robert Tisch realized a long-term dream in 1991 
when he completed negotiations with Timothy Wellington Mara for a 50-
percent interest in the New York Giants Football Club. Tisch played an 
active role in the organization as a member of the National Football 
League's Finance and Super Bowl Policy Committees, attaining a 
prominence in the sports arena equal to his position in the world of 
  Owning the Giants was one of many careers Tisch pursued 
simultaneously. He was the chairman and a director of the Loews 
Corporation, one of the country's most successful financial companies. 
From 1990-1993, Tisch served as chairman of the New York City 
Partnership, Inc., and the New York Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 
where he was instrumental in developing the campaign to enhance New 
York's position as an international business center.
  After completing his term as chairman, Tisch remained on the Board of 
Directors of both organizations, now merged, and continued serving as a 
trustee of New York University. However, co-owning the New York Giants 
was his true love. As a life-long sports fan, he attended every Giants 
game, home and away, and spent as much time working in his stadium 
office as possible.
  I urge all Members to honor a man that promoted excellence in 
business and took every opportunity to give back to the community by 
adopting H. Res. 605.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H. Res. 605, which 

[[Page H6252]]

the life and achievements of Preston Robert Tisch.
  The New York Giants begin the 2006 football season next week absent 
the front office presence of Bob Tisch for the first time in 15 years. 
The Giants have been one of the National Football League's most 
successful franchises, and this is due in no small part to Tisch's 
leadership. The New York Giants grieve the passing of their former 
owner, but they do not grieve alone.
  In addition to the New York Giants, Bob Tisch and his family own the 
Loews hotels and movie theaters and many other successful businesses.
  However, Tisch will be remembered by many for his philanthropic 
ventures. Many organizations and educational institutions, such as the 
University of Michigan, his alma mater, and New York University, 
benefited from Tisch's generosity.
  Tisch established the overwhelmingly successful Take the Field 
program. During the 1990s, the Take the Field program raised over $140 
million to help rebuild dozens of athletic fields used by public school 
children in New York City.
  Tisch also created the Meals on Wheels program and served as 
president of the program for a decade. It was not uncommon to find Bob 
Tisch delivering meals to those in need.
  Bob Tisch was also a devoted and successful public servant. From 
1986-1988, Tisch served as Postmaster General of the United States. He 
served honorably in his role at the United States Postal Service and 
created the Department of Philatelic Affairs. This department 
revolutionized the sale of stamps in postal facilities.
  On November 15, 2005, Preston Robert Tisch lost his battle against 
brain cancer at the age of 79. In one last demonstration of his eminent 
generosity, Tisch donated $10 million to the Duke University Cancer 
Center that had treated and cared for him in his final days.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in strong support of H. 
Res. 605 in recognition of the life and work of Preston Robert Tisch.
  Mr. Speaker, it is not unusual for individuals to become wealthy and 
to become successful. It is not even unusual for some of them to share 
some of what they have been able to accumulate with others. But in 
looking at the history of Preston Robert Tisch, it is difficult to find 
a more magnanimous individual who made greater use of his time, his 
energy, his efforts, and, of course, his wealth.
  When you think of the Meals on Wheels program and the large numbers 
of senior citizens who have benefited so greatly from such a great 
program, you realize how great Mr. Tisch was and how long his legacy 
will continue to live.
  Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield such time as she may consume 
to the Democratic Leader, the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Pelosi).
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished gentleman from 
Illinois for yielding and thank all who were responsible for bringing 
this important tribute to the floor of the House.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise with very mixed emotions about this. I am 
absolutely delighted that Bob Tisch is receiving the recognition that 
he deserves, and he deserves even more, but sad that it has come at a 
time when he has passed on.
  I rise proudly to pay tribute to Preston Robert Tisch, known to all 
of us fortunate enough to call him ``friend'' as Bob. My friendship 
with him goes back to 1976; that would be 30 years, Mr. Speaker, a 
long, long time. It was at the time when he was the chair of the host 
committee for the Democratic National Convention in New York.
  I later became the chair of its host committee for the convention in 
San Francisco and, as such, went to visit him to get some advice on how 
to make our city shine when all of that attention was focused on us. 
His advice was always excellent, professional and, in fact, 
nonpartisan. It was very important, he said, for this to be about your 
community. It isn't about the Democrats. It is about your city, your 
State and your welcome to a convention that is part of the democratic 
process. But your role is not a political one.
  He was bipartisan in so much of what he did. He was a mentor to many, 
and I was very honored to receive advice from him now for the past 30 
  Bob Tisch and his family, his brother Larry, are well-known to many 
of us on both sides of the aisle, and there wasn't anything that was 
wonderful in our community and our society and our economy that they 
weren't part of, whether it was the arts, the media, education, sports, 
again, very important factors in the economy.
  But I guess the last note I received from Bob Tisch, he was on his 
way home from a football game, and I guess dictated it or something, 
but football was such a love for him. He found a way to combine his 
love for football with his philanthropic spirit by founding the Take 
the Field program. This is a wonderful, wonderful venture, a nonprofit 
organization dedicated to renovating and rebuilding the athletic fields 
at New York City's public high schools.
  Bob believed in giving back to New York City public high schools, the 
public high schools that educated him, giving student athletes fields 
of play and single-handedly raising more than $147 million to do so.
  Across the country, there is other evidence of Bob Tisch's 
generosity. His name graces both a medical center and an arts school at 
New York University, a gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and 
the Children's Zoo at Central Park.
  Bob helped found Meals on Wheels and served as its president for 20 
years. He delivered many meals personally to elderly patrons.
  I wanted to just mention football, because he loved it so much. Many 
know Bob Tisch realized his lifelong dream in 1991 when he became 
chairman and co-CEO of the New York Giants. The Giants brought him 
great joy. He attended every game, both home and away, and spent as 
much time working in his stadium office as possible.
  Bob was a tremendously talented businessman, as we discussed, a 
dedicated public servant who served as our Nation's Postmaster General, 
again, under a Republican President, a Democratic Postmaster General, 
and one of the most generous philanthropists our country has known.
  As we pay tribute to Bob, we must remember the many people who loved 
him and grieve his death, especially his wife of 57 years, Joan Tisch; 
his children, Steven, Laurie and Jonathan; and his nine grandchildren.
  The last time I saw Bob Tisch, he was having brunch, Sunday brunch, 
at the Regency Hotel with his family and some of his grandchildren. He 
held court there. Many of us would see him when we were in New York. He 
held court there, and it was just always a wonderful, wonderful, 
wonderful experience to see him. He was always so full of optimism and 
hope, even though, at some point, we didn't know how long he would be 
with us.

                              {time}  1500

  I think the former mayor of New York City, David Dinkins said it best 
of Bob: When you think of Bob Tisch, you smile. Though we grieve the 
loss of Bob today, we smile as we remember his brilliant life.
  Again, I hope it is a comfort to Joan, to Jonathan, to Steven and to 
Laurie, my friend, that so many people mourn their loss and are praying 
for them. He has been gone for a number of months, but we continue to 
pray for them and to sing the praises of this great man, Bob Tisch.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield such 
time as she might consume to the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. 
  Mrs. MALONEY. I thank my colleague for yielding, and I join my voice 
with the Democratic leader and Mr. Fossella and many others in honoring 
Robert Tisch.
  When Preston Robert Tisch passed away on November 15, 2005, America 
lost one of its preeminent and most successful business people. Anyone 
who followed his career or worked with him knew of his brilliant 
business sense, and anyone who has seen a movie in a Loews theater or 
stayed in a Loews hotel can attest to it.
  But as much as Bob Tisch will be remembered for his many business 
successes, he will be remembered and honored for being one of our most 
caring and giving philanthropists and humanitarians. Anyone who has 
benefitted from the vital city Meals on Wheels program is a testament 
to his many efforts. In his business career, Bob was

[[Page H6253]]

an enormous success, and he used his wealth and intelligence to assist 
those who need help the most. For that, we greatly admire him, and we 
honor him with this resolution today.
  I am particularly proud, as is my colleague, Vito Fossella, who 
introduced this resolution, that Bob Tisch was born and resided in our 
hometown, New York City. We were able to see the success and many good 
deeds up close, and our city has been the beneficiary of many of his 
best and most heartfelt ideas and programs. The City of New York thanks 
him and misses him.
  Bob Tisch, the son of Russian immigrants and a native of Bensonhurst, 
Brooklyn, served our country in the Army during World War II. He 
graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in economics 
and would go on to become the chairman and director of the highly 
successful Loews Corporation.
  During the financial crisis of the 1970s, he organized business 
leaders from New York and around the country to earn the support of the 
Federal Government for New York City, and he helped rebuild our city. 
He helped our city go from bust to boom.
  Bob Tisch served as the Postmaster General under President Reagan 
from 1986 to 1988 and, likewise, served as the chair of the National 
Democratic Convention. He was a man who was admired by both parties, 
admired by all people. He was chairman of the New York City Convention 
and Visitors Bureau for 19 years, and he was appointed by former Mayor 
David Dinkins to be the city's ambassador to Washington in 1990. You 
would often see him here in Washington visiting, talking, promoting New 
York City.
  Perhaps his greatest feats, though, were his philanthropic efforts. 
Aside from the countless of millions of dollars he gave to charities, 
hospitals, universities and the Metropolitan Museum, Bob Tisch helped 
create city Meals on Wheels and was president for more than 20 years. 
The program provides food to the elderly and to the homebound, New 
Yorkers in need, allowing them to get nutrition and stay healthy in 
their homes.
  More recently, Bob Tisch's Take the Field campaign raised more than 
$140 million to refurbish unkempt athletic fields of New York City's 
public schools.
  Since 1991, Bob Tisch, a lifelong sports fan, owned 50 percent of the 
New York Giants Football Club, sharing it with another great New Yorker 
whom we recently lost, Wellington Mara.
  Few Americans have done more in their lives or have helped more 
people than Bob Tisch. He is missed tremendously, especially in New 
York. As the companies he ran endure and as the philanthropic programs 
he created continue to help those in need, Bob Tisch will not be 
  The good work he began continues even today, and our hearts and our 
thoughts are with his wife, Joan; his children, Steven, Laurie and 
Jonathan, all of whom have continued with his philanthropic work. And 
they have greatly, in their own way, benefitted our city, State and our 
  Overall, Bob Tisch was just a good man. He was a terrific person. He 
is deeply missed, and I am so pleased for his family and for his city 
that Congress has thought to honor him today.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield such time 
as he might consume to the Dean of the House of Representatives, the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Dingell).
  Mr. DINGELL. I thank my dear friend for yielding to me.
  Mr. Speaker, like many others in this chamber, I had the opportunity 
of knowing Bob Tisch, wonderful gentleman, great patriot, public 
servant, a man concerned about the well-being of his community and a 
man who greatly loved his family and the Nation of which he was a part. 
He was also a man who was extraordinary in his charity to America, to 
its people and to those of almost all parts of the country. He was a 
great human being, a wonderful friend. He will be missed.
  I am delighted that we are honoring him. I thank the committee for 
what they are doing. I extend with them my condolences to the wonderful 
family of our dear friend Preston Robert Tisch, but I also rejoice that 
we are honoring a great American well deserving of that today, and I 
thank my colleagues.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a great American and a 
great New Yorker, Preston Robert Tisch. I am a friend of the Tisch 
family, and I am proud to stand here today and speak about Bob Tisch's 
many accomplishments.
  Bob Tisch was a businessman, a philanthropist, and an entrepreneur. 
He made a positive impact on every organization he was affiliated with. 
Bob built the Loews Corporation into one of the largest diversified 
financial companies in the Nation, headed the New York Giants football 
franchise, and was one of the most generous philanthropists in New 
York. In every venture of his life he made he made a positive and 
indelible mark.
  Bob and his brother Larry started a small hotel in New Jersey called 
Laurel-in-the Pines. The two brothers eventually built this business 
into the Loews chain of hotels. Their company acquired numerous other 
businesses to become the Loews Corporation that exists today.
  After leaving Loews, Bob followed his dream and became the owner of 
the New York Giants football team. He was a true fan, attending every 
home and away game. He also brought his considerable talent and 
experience from the business field to the Giants organization.
  However, Bob's most impressive accomplishments were his philanthropic 
ventures. In 2000, he helped create Take the Field, which raised money 
to rebuild the athletic fields of the public high schools in New York 
City. In only 4 years, he raised over $147 million for that cause. 
Additionally, he donated millions of dollars to universities around the 
country. New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, NYU Medical 
Center's Tisch Hospital, and even Tisch Hall at the University of 
Michigan are all testaments to the generosity of Bob Tisch.
  Bob's gifts continued even after his passing. The Tisch Foundation, 
created by Bob and his wife Joan, has made substantial contributions to 
Play It Smart, an organization dedicated to training academic coaches 
to work with high school football teams in underserved neighborhoods. 
This program has achieved amazing success, with 98 percent of their 
students graduating high school and 80 percent enrolling in college. 
Both of these statistics are well above the national average.
  Bob Tisch dedicated his life to improving the lives of others. He was 
a true American in the best sense of the word. For all these reasons, I 
strongly support H. Res. 605 and I urge my colleagues to do the same.
  Mr. FOSSELLA. Mr. Speaker, on November 15th, 2005, America lost one 
of its greatest entrepreneurs, the great Preston Robert ``Bob'' Tisch, 
the former Postmaster General and owner of the New York Giants Football 
  Bob Tisch grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to middle-class parents 
who had emigrated from Russia. He had a vision that anyone could 
succeed in life if they worked hard enough to achieve it. He once 
mentioned that ``perseverance is at the heart of meeting any 
challenge.'' This is a motto he would live by for the rest of his life. 
In 1943 Bob Tisch joined the U.S. Army and fought in World War II. 
Shortly after he left the military, he earned his bachelor's degree in 
economics from the University of Michigan in 1948. That same year he 
began what he would later become famous for: he joined his family hotel 
business at the Laurel-in-the-Pines in Lakewood, New Jersey.
  Later in life he would move on to gain total control of the Loews 
Theater Corporation and in 1962, would build the Summit Hotel in Bal 
Harbour, Florida. At over 50 stories, it was the world's tallest hotel 
at the time. Throughout his life he would find success in all that he 
did. This would continue into the later years of his life. At the age 
of 60, President Ronald Reagan appointed him the United States 
Postmaster General, a post he would hold for two years. And finally in 
1991, he purchased a 50 percent share of the New York Giants Football 
Club, an ownership he would happily share with the late Wellington 
  Recognizing the financial crisis that New York City was experiencing 
in the 1970s, Bob Tisch organized regular breakfasts at his Regency 
Hotel with some of the cities most influential movers and shakers. 
These breakfasts helped attract influential businessmen and women from 
all over the country and turned New York City's financial crisis into a 
burgeoning economy.
  Bob Tisch had an incredible record of charity work. He helped create 
the Meals-on-Wheels program and would serve as its president for over 
20 years. His final campaign was called the ``Take the Field'' 
imitative which was established to revitalize the ragged athletic 
fields of the city's public high schools which raised over $140 
million. He also gave countless millions of dollars through his 
philanthropic works to hospitals, charities, and universities in the 
spirit of improving the lives of Americans.
  While we mourn his loss, we as a Nation should smile proudly at his 
life and his deeds, for there is no greater credit to his 
accomplishments than having left this Nation and our world better than 
he had found it.

[[Page H6254]]

  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, Bob Tisch was my friend. He did many things 
in life for which he will be remembered, but for me it was that he 
created a family of unsurpassed excellence. It was an honor for me to 
know him, and his family should know how many people like me came to 
admire him.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for 
time, and I yield back the balance of our time.
  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I urge all Members to support the adoption of 
H. Res. 605, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. Foxx) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the resolution, H. Res. 605.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of 
those present have voted in the affirmative.
  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this question will 
be postponed.