By  on March 31, 2005

NEW YORK — Bill Levin, who spent more than 45 years in the dress business, died March 22 at his home in Forest Hills.

His son, David, said he died of cardiac failure in his sleep. He was 80.

Levin described his father as “a big, soft bear” who had a great gut instinct when it came to choosing salable styles and epitomized the “Greatest Generation.” After serving in the Air Force in World War II, Levin began working with his father, Jack, on Seventh Avenue, learning the dress business from the ground up.

Throughout his career, Levin held sales and executive positions at companies such as Chester Weinberg, Samuel Robert, Dominic Rompollo, John Anthony, Jonathan Hitchcock and Bob Mackie Originals.

“He was a hard-working person,” said Mario Damiani, manager at Dalma Dress Co., who worked with Levin at John Anthony. “He always called the factory asking, ‘When am I going to get this? When am I going to get that?’ because that was the bread and the butter for the company.”

Levin retired in the early Nineties.

In addition to his son, Levin is survived by two daughters, JoAnne Kane and Jennifer Levin; a sister, Shirley Brochester, and a granddaughter, Olivia Levin.

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