Founder Of Getty Realty Corp., Leo Liebowitz, Passes At Age 94

Leo Liebowitz (1927-2021)
(Contributed photo)

Leo Liebowitz passed away in December of 2021 at the age of 94 years old. Liebowitz lived a long and fulfilling life during which he grew a large family of six children and developed a hugely successful petroleum marketing and real estate business that contributed greatly to the local economy and job market. Liebowitz co-founded the company in 1955 and had only recently retired from Getty Realty as chairman in Feb. 2021.
Liebowitz was born to Polish emigres on Sept. 28, 1927 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. After graduating from New Utrecht High School, Liebowitz enlisted in the Air Force in Florida and later went on to work as a bus mechanic for the City of New York.
With a strong desire to own his own business and achieve the American dream, Liebowitz and his co-worker, Milton Safenowitz, together leased a single struggling gas station from Sunoco in 1955. After the purchase of the NYC gas station, Liebowitz “worked to assemble a portfolio of gas and service stations and build [the] predecessor entity, Power Test Corporation, which eventually went public in 1971 and grew to become the largest independent gasoline distributor on the East Coast,” according to a press release from Getty Realty.
“In 1985, Mr. Liebowitz capitalized on an antitrust dispute involving the proposed acquisition by Texaco Inc. of the Getty Oil Company, paving the way for Power Test’s transformational acquisition of all of Getty’s Northeastern gasoline stations, terminals and retail supply contracts, and its name change to Getty Petroleum Corp,” according to the Getty press release.
Liebowitz’s dedication to his growing company led to the acquisition of “more than 950 convenience stores, gas stations and other automotive properties.” Getty Realty Corp. specializes in the ownership, leasing, financing and redevelopment of their properties located in 35 states across the United States, according to the press release. Their separate gasoline marketing business, Getty Petroleum, was sold to Lukoil back in 2000.
Liebowitz has been a resident of Sands Point in Port Washington for over 40 years. Besides the successful business man that he was, Liebowitz will be remembered by many for his dedication to his large and loving family. He is survived by his wife, Rose, and their six children, 18 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.