Obituary: A. Jacob 'Jack' Abrams

A. Jacob (Jack) Abrams, attorney-at-law and entrepreneur, of Hyde Park, died on Friday, October 6, 2017. He was 90.

Mr. Abrams was a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point and received his law degree from St. John’s University where he was associate editor of the Law Review; he also was one of the first men to attend Vassar College in 1946 when the college opened its doors to returning war veterans. He was featured in the May 6, 1946, issue of Life magazine in an article about his attendance at Vassar. He served in both the Merchant Marine and the Navy during World War II, from 1945-1949, including a year’s “active duty” as a Naval officer aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Siboney.

For many years, Mr. Abrams practiced law in New York City, focusing primarily on investment banking and corporate representation. A year after graduation from law school, he undertook a matter, pro bono, to gain general experience in appellate court practice, and argued and won (5 to 4) a case in the Supreme Court of the United States of America (United States v. Morgan, 346 U.S. 502 (1954)); as characterized by Justice Minton in his dissent, Mr. Abrams “resurrect[ed] the ancient writ of error coram nobis from limbo.” Both the acceptance to hear the case by the Supreme Court and the decision were reported by the New York Times in two articles in 1954 and 1955.

He formed numerous startup companies over the course of his career, ranging from venture capital to shipbuilding to real estate. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of North Shore/LIJ and Hillside Hospitals. While his business interests were broad, he had particular experience within the maritime industry, including worldwide vessel operations, construction and operation of high seas tuna clippers, and ownership and operation of container vessels. In 1988, he received the King’s Point award for Outstanding Professional Achievement, for exemplifying the best tradition of the corps, “Acta Non Verba.” He was one of the longest standing members of The Harmonie Club, the second oldest social club in New York City.

Formerly of Ridgefield, Connecticut, and San Diego, California, Mr. Abrams moved to Hyde Park twelve years ago and became an active member of the Hyde Park Rotary Club. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Petti Nason Abrams, seven children, and sixteen grandchildren.

In keeping with Mr. Abrams’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Calling hours will be held on Monday, October 9th, from 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm at Sweet’s Funeral Home, Rte. 9, Hyde Park. To leave an online condolence or for directions, please visit the website,

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the United States Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and Foundation, 300 Steamboat Road, Kings Point, NY 11024. (