Cover photo for Margy Meyerson's Obituary
Margy Meyerson Profile Photo

Margy Meyerson

Margy Meyerson, a Philadelphia civic leader and influential urbanist, died on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, in Washington, DC. Mrs. Meyerson was 98 years old.

Margy Meyerson was born in Washington, DC, and spent most of her childhood in Brooklyn NY. She was the daughter of Arthur Lazarus, Senior, a management consultant, and Frieda Langer Lazarus, a socialist and pacifist. At age 12, she was one of two national winners of an essay contest on "What I Would Do If I Were President," and was invited to tea with Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House. She attended high school at the Brooklyn Friends School and then graduated from the University of Chicago.

After graduation, Mrs. Meyerson entered the field of urban planning, where she became distinguished as an author and educator. She married Martin Meyerson, a fellow city planner, in 1945; Martin went on to a distinguished career in higher education, where he served as acting chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, and then as president of the State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Meyerson taught at Drexel University and the University of California, Berkeley, and co-edited the book, "Urban Housing," with Bill Wheaton and Grace Milgram. She led the restoration of the Darwin Martin House, a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece in Buffalo that has since been restored further and is now one of the city's leading tourist attractions.

In Philadelphia, Mrs. Meyerson became a distinguished civic leader. She served as a member of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, chair of the board of the Rosenbach Museum and Library, and board member of the Girard Bank, and then after its sale to Mellon Bank, of the Mellon Bank (East). She served for decades on the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

In later years, she returned to academic studies as a master's student in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, earning her degree at the age of 70.

Mrs. Meyerson was married to her husband, Martin, for 61 years. As "First Lady" of the three universities, she was a gracious and beloved hostess and a close intellectual partner with her husband. She was deeply curious, an extensive reader, and an engaging conversationalist.

Mrs. Meyerson is survived by two sons, Adam (Nina Shea) of Washington, D.C., and Matthew (Sandra) of Concord, Massachusetts, seven grandchildren, and one great-grand-child. Her husband, Martin, and daughter, Laura, pre-deceased her.
Arrangements by Joseph Levine & Sons (
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