By Michelle Graff
Pompano Beach, Florida--Ira Kinsler, who ended his career working as the publisher of National Jeweler, died Feb. 8 at his home in Pompano Beach, Florida. He was 94.

Born July 22, 1923 in New York, Kinsler was the son of Jack W. and Rose Kinsler (née Schechter). He went to public school in Brooklyn, and then joined his father in the garment industry business.

When World War II started, he volunteered for the draft and spent time in both military intelligence and in an Air-Sea Rescue Unit near the Panama Canal.

20180216 Ira KinslerIra Kinsler
While on leave in 1944, he married his childhood sweetheart, Elaine Gold. The pair remained married until her death in 2015, renewing their vows at 40 years and again at 60.

After the way, much of the garment business moved overseas and Kinsler changed careers, working first as an advertising salesman and, later, as a national sales manager for trade publications.

One of those publications was National Jeweler.

Centurion show founder Howard Hauben, who also was the publisher of National Jeweler at one time, said when he joined the magazine as an editorial trainee in 1977, Kinsler already was “an absolute legend.”

He had helped to make National Jeweler the most successful magazine at Gralla Publications, with two issues a month generating close to 200 ad pages each.

“He was larger than life and a very nice guy, extremely well-liked and a real tour de force,” Hauben said. “It sounds like his life after National Jeweler was wonderful, and I am very happy for having known him.”

Kinsler retired to Florida in the late 1970s/early 1980s--sort of.

Norman Miller, another National Jeweler alumni, said when he joined the staff in 1980, Kinsler was retiring to Florida, “but not really retiring.”

“He was still the king of the trade shows,” Miller recalled. “When I covered the Florida shows he was always there, lending a guiding hand.

“I have very fond memories of he and (his wife) Elaine.”

In addition to being well-liked, Kinsler also was passionate about fairness, treated everyone with respect and dignity, and was generous.

Up until the week of his death, he was making contributions to progressive political candidates who shared his views.

He is survived by two sons, Dr. Philip Kinsler and his wife Margaret of Lyme, New Hampshire, and Dr. Norman Kinsler and his wife Alice of Concord, New Hampshire; four granddaughters, Heather, Sarah and Emily Kinsler, and Rebecca Kinsler-Malloy; three great-grandsons, Ethan Kinsler-King and Ryan and Connor Malloy; and a niece to whom he was very close, Natalie Gaines.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 71 years, Elaine.

Services took place Wednesday at Temple Beth Jacob in Concord, with interment following at Blossom Hill Cemetery, also in Concord.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Temple Beth Jacob, 67 Broadway, Concord, NH, 03301; to the Southern Poverty Law Center; or to the ACLU.

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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.