February 14, 2020
Prominent financier, Alexander Navab, an immigrant who emerged to be a leader on Wall Street, tragically died this summer. His memorial service was unprecedented in that it took place in New York City’s Central Park. The service was so unique, guests were under the impression that it was Hollywood produced. His memorial was designed and produced by the event firm, Fête. Mr. Navab was a philanthropist who was loved and deservedly admired by many. He was President of the Board for the Robin Hood Foundation and set up $6 million of scholarships at Columbia University. Additionally, he sat on the boards for Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, The Spence School and The Buckley School. Mr. Navab was dedicated to the Greek community and was the youngest partner at KKR. In the finance world, KKR is considered the “masters of the universe.”
Unannounced, the attendance for Mr. Navab's memorial service was unprecedented and an unexpected number of close to 1800 people arrived in Central Park to celebrate his life. His kindness had a reach and broke through all barriers that ranged from heads of state to attending students at The Buckley School (where his son Julian attends) and The Spence School (where his daughters Neva and Arabella attend). Cherry Hill Fountain in Central Park was selected as the location as it was one of Mr. Navab's favorite spots in NYC and he would frequent it regularly. Guests were given pennies to throw in the fountain to honor him. The memorial celebrated him at the end by offering things he enjoyed in Central Park; namely; hot dogs, popcorn and ice cream. His wife, Mary Kathryn Navab as well as their three children son Julian Navab and daughters Neva Navab and Arabella Navab spoke at the service. Neva and Arabella released two doves after the reading of a poem. Close friend Senator Mitt Romney in his memorial speech compared Mr. Navab's character to the great Presidents of US history.
Alexander Navab is survived by his wife Mary Kathryn Navab as well as his parents and three young children.
Notable guests attending include: The Rockefeller Family, Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos, Hilary and Wilbur Ross, Henry Kissinger, Senator Mitt Romney, Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann, and Aerin Lauder.
The Robin Hood Foundation dedicated their Heroes Breakfast to Alexander Navab. The Robin Hood Foundation's first heroes award was Immigrant Children’s Advocates Relief Effort (ICare) as Alexander was an immigrant (was born in Iran and fled the Islamic revolution in 1979).