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David Shapell dies at 94; immigrant was devoted to Holocaust remembrance


David Shapell, a Jewish immigrant from Poland who became a successful California real estate developer and gave millions of dollars to organizations focused on Holocaust remembrance, has died. He was 94.


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David Shapell, a Jewish immigrant from Poland who became a successful California real estate developer and gave millions of dollars to organizations focused on Holocaust remembrance, has diedHe was 94.Shapell was hospitalized in Tel Aviv while he and his wife, Fela, were visiting Israel to celebrate the birth of a great-grandchildSuffering from lung cancer and pneumonia, he died Feb8, his daughter Rochelle Shapell said Notable Deaths Caption Michael Graves Chris Felver / Getty Images The pioneering figure in postmodern design in the 1980s and '90s added historical ornament and bright color to prominent and often controversial buildingsAs a product designer, he brought high-design housewares to a broad publicHe was 80Full obituary The pioneering figure in postmodern design in the 1980s and '90s added historical ornament and bright color to prominent and often controversial buildingsAs a product designer, he brought high-design housewares to a broad publicHe was 80Full obituary (Chris Felver / Getty Images) See more galleries Caption Sam Simon Alberto ERodriguez / AFP/Getty Images The Emmy-winning co-creator of "The Simpsons" was instrumental in developing the groundbreaking Fox TV series that became ratings goldHe was 59Full obituary The Emmy-winning co-creator of "The Simpsons" was instrumental in developing the groundbreaking Fox TV series that became ratings goldHe was 59Full obituary (Alberto ERodriguez / AFP/Getty Images) See more galleries Caption Albert Maysles Victoria Will / Invision/Associated Press The pioneering documentary filmmaker was known for putting the camera at a very close distance and letting the subject unfurl itselfHis film, "Grey Gardens," laid the cultural groundwork for much of the unscripted drama on television todayHe was 88Full obituary The pioneering documentary filmmaker was known for putting the camera at a very close distance and letting the subject unfurl itselfHis film, "Grey Gardens," laid the cultural groundwork for much of the unscripted drama on television todayHe was 88Full obituary (Victoria Will / Invision/Associated Press) See more galleries Caption Minnie Minoso Chicago Tribune Known as the "Cuban Comet," Minoso became Chicago's first black Major League Baseball player when he signed with the White Sox in 1951He was 90Full obituary Known as the "Cuban Comet," Minoso became Chicago's first black Major League Baseball player when he signed with the White Sox in 1951He was 90Full obituary (Chicago Tribune) See more galleries Caption Alex Johnson Handout The only batting champion in Angels history, Johnson became the subject of controversy after he was suspended five times in 1971 and became the face of a dysfunctional teamHe was 72Full obituary The only batting champion in Angels history, Johnson became the subject of controversy after he was suspended five times in 1971 and became the face of a dysfunctional teamHe was 72Full obituary (Handout) See more galleries Notable deaths of 2015 Photos of leaders, stars and other notable figures who died in 2015 Notable deaths of 2015 Photos of leaders, stars and other notable figures who died in 2015 Shapell, his brother Nathan and his brother-in-law Max Webb started Shapell Industries, a firm that over five decades built some 70,000 homes throughout the stateThe company, whose projects included Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley, was sold in 2014 for about $1.6 billion.lRelated OBITUARIESAlice Herz-Sommer dies at 110; thought to be oldest Holocaust survivorSee all related8 He was a land guyHe loved to find the raw dirt and envision what it would look like to create a community out of that dirt - daughter Rochelle Shapell, describing her father David Shapell Nearly every year since, a Shapell family member has visited Auschwitz or Wolbrom, recited the Kaddish prayer of mourning, and lighted a memorial candle.In 2014, David and Fela Shapell gave $15 million to the U.SHolocaust Memorial Museum to help with the construction of a massive repository for Holocaust artifacts."If you don't have evidence to support the memory, the memory changes over time," Irvin Shapell has said in explaining his family's donation"It withers slowly, and in the end you've just got some sort of legend." cComments David Shappell was one of the developers of Promenade West, the condos across First Street from Walt Disney Concert Hall, http://www.880promenadewest.com/about.php ByChris at 4:27 PM February 27, 2015 Add a comment See all comments 1 Yad Vashem center for Holocaust research and other organizations.Born in Poland on Feb4, 1921, David Czapelski was one of five children of an impoverished farmer who raised geese to sell their meat, fat and feathersDuring World War II, he eluded the Nazis but wound up in Soviet labor camps until he was conscripted into military service.steve.chawkins@latimes.comTwitter: @schawkins

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