Philip Kendall, 85, Publisher, Museum Co-Founder


Among his many communal activities, the successful publisher and printing press owner helped found the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Philip J. Kendall, 85, of Philadelphia and Boca Raton, Fla., a highly successful publisher and printing press owner whose communal activities included being a founder of the National Museum of American Jewish History, died Dec. 17.
A graduate of the Wharton School and Gratz College, Kendall’s printing and publishing empire included the Legal Intelligencer and Dorland’s Medical Directory. 
He had been president of Packard Press, which was later sold to Curtis Publishing Co., where Kendall served as vice president of its commercial printing division.
He repurchased the company in 1969 and sold it again in 1978.
Kendall went on to become president and CEO of other press businesses.
A special agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps during the Korean War, Kendall later became vice chair of the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation, being part of it since its founding 10 years ago. 
His communal involvement was a longtime commitment and it included serving as a founder of the National Museum of American Jewish History; past president of the Adelphi Lodge of B’nai B’rith and the B’nai B’rith Council of Greater Philadelphia, which also honored him as “Man of the Year”; past chairman of the Metropolitan Advisory Board of the local Anti-Defamation League; and former vice president and trustee of Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park.
He also was a former board member of Graduate Hospital and the Gesu School, a Catholic school serving impoverished areas of North Philadelphia.
Kendall was honored by the  Samuel Paley Foundation, and received the Horatio Alger Award from the Golden Slipper Club, of which he was a member.
As much as he was a rock of the printing and publishing business — and Jewish community — he was even more so for his family, said his son, Richard.
“He was a Jewish ‘Godfather,’ ” jokes his son. “He was our rock, our go-to guy; nothing was more important to him than family.”
He also cared about the well-being of others, according to Richard Kendall. “Whenever he would meet somebody, he would automatically think of how he could help that person,” said his son. “He thrived on doing for others.”
The philanthropist with “a huge heart” also reserved some of that love for Philly sports, even when he was living in Florida, according to his son. 
They often listened to the Eagles games together while on the phone, “and my father’s broadcast had a five-second advance” over the one his son received in Philly. “And he would do the play-by-play on the phone before I even saw the play,” which “miffed” his son.
In addition to his son, Kendall is survived by a daughter, Iris Berkowitz; six grandchildren and a great-grandchild.


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