Myron Leslie Hurwitz, a longtime resident of New Canaan and Darien, died of pancreatic cancer Sept. 12.
Born in Marseille, France in 1924 and educated in France and in the U.S., Mr. Hurwitz graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University in 1943. During World War II, he served in US Army Military Intelligence as liaison with French resistance forces and received both French and American military commendations including five battle stars.
As the Allied armies advanced into Normandy following the D-Day invasion, he played an important role in the liberation of the city of Evreux, a major headquarters of German troops, by establishing communications through French underground contacts. As a result of pre-dawn meetings with the Mayor of Evreux's emissaries, American forces were able to liberate the city without any severe damage to its people, great cathedral, or historic sites.
In August 1994, during the 50th anniversary celebration of the liberation of France, Mr. Hurwitz was honored by the City of Evreux with the medal of the City and was made an honorary citizen.
After the war, he held editorial and public relations positions relating to international diplomacy and trade, including editor-in-charge of the Diplomatic Yearbook; director of international services of United Nations World magazine; director of special services and vice president and general manager of World magazine, and principal in his own public relations firm, representing such organizations as the Paris and Lyons international trade fairs.
One of Mr. Hurwitz's key contributions to fostering Franco-American relations was as president of the Paris American Club from 1976-1998. In 1990, Mr. Hurwitz was elected president of French Expositions in the US, Inc., an organization established by the French government to direct the participation of French industries in American trade shows.
In 1987, the government of France awarded Mr. Hurwitz the rank of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor for "his tireless efforts on behalf of Franco-American friendship." In 1999, the French government further awarded Mr. Hurwitz the additional rank of Officier of the National Order of Merit.
In 1960, Mr. Hurwitz joined The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, specializing in world trade and maritime activities. He became Chief of Information Services in 1971 and, in 1976, he was put in charge of all promotional, marketing, and patron services for PATH, the Port Authority's rapid rail transit system. He retired in 1995 as a senior management executive for interstate transportation, and liaison with the Union Internationale des Transports Publics.
After retirement, Mr. and Mrs. Hurwitz divided their time between their home in Boussac, France and Connecticut.
Mr. Hurwitz is survived by his wife of 56 years, Claudine, his children; Alexandra Hurwitz Robinson of California, Peter Hurwitz of Connecticut, Kyra Leslie Pugh of England, and Raphael Hurwitz, and 11 grandchildren.
A memorial service with military honors will be held graveside Friday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m., at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery in Adelphi, Md.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pancreas Cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Att: Rebecca Nussbaum, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Office of Development, 633 3rd Avenue, 28th Floor, NY, NY 10017.