Leonard Bernstein

Obituary of Leonard Bernstein


Leonard ("Lenny") Bernstein was born in Brooklyn in 1925 and raised in the Bronx in the Workers Cooperative Colony ("The Allerton Coops"). During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army infantry in France and Germany, where he helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp and earned two Purple Hearts and other medals. 


After the war, he earned degrees in ceramic and metallurgical engineering from Alfred and Columbia Universities. He worked at electronics engineering companies on the east and west coasts, including co-founding a startup (1948-1954) and working in many early Silicon Valley firms. He earned a law degree from Golden Gate University and was admitted to the California Bar in 1977 and later the U.S. Customs Court.   


Lenny Bernstein's lifetime love of jazz and the photomicrography he practiced as an engineer fostered his third career as a jazz performance photographer. He photographed more than 1,000 jazz musicians, rendering  powerfully emotional moments in color. His photographs are permanently exhibited at California State University, Monterey Bay. He was co-author of "Jazz Profiles: The Spirit of the Nineties" (Billboard Books 1998). See his website jazzjonesphotos.com.


Lenny Bernstein is survived by his wife of 66 years, Evelyn Bernstein, children Lisa Bernstein (Lisa B) and David R. Bernstein, grandchildren Jamie, Connor, Braxton, and Madeline, and three great-grandchildren. Donations in his memory may be made to Chadeish Yameinu, P.O. Box 3578, Santa Cruz, CA 95063, cysantacruz.com, or the Audubon Society, 225 Varick Street, 7th Floor,
New York, NY 10014, audubon.org. Services will be held at 2 p.m., Thurs. Dec. 12, at Temple Beth El, 3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos, CA 95003, followed by a burial service at Beit Olam Cemetery, 550 Old San Jose Rd., Soquel, CA 95073, and a gathering at his home.   


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Funeral Ceremony

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Temple Beth El
3055 Porter Gulch Rd
Aptos, California, United States

Committal Service

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Beit Olam Soquel Cemetey
550 Old San Jose Road
Soquel, California, United States
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