Harry S. Gross, 92

Harry S. Gross, longtime financial columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and radio talk show host, to name just a few of his many accomplishments, died on March 13 from heart failure at 92.

Harry S. Gross, longtime financial columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and radio talk show host, to name just a few of his many accomplishments, died on March 13 from heart failure at 92.
Gross was born in 1923 and grew up in the Strawberry Mansion section in the northern part of the city. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1944 on a full scholarship, joined the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 1946 and later became a life member.
In 1949, he opened his own practice as a certified public accountant, where he gave financial advice — a topic he was well versed in.
He wrote a personal financial advice column for the Daily News from 1981 to last fall, when he retired.
Some of his most well known financial advice was, “If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true,” and the mantra, “Live beneath your means.”
He developed a review course for future accountants taking the exam, and “shared his knowledge with seasoned CPAs by conducting continuing-education accounting courses for 33 years,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
He also started a call-in radio show that ran for more than 20 years on stations WCAU and WWDB. He would sign off every program with one message: “I wish you peace of mind and good health.”
But no matter how busy he was with all of these accomplishments, he always made time for his family, said his daughter, Betty Gross Eisenberg — especially for his wife, Helen, whom Eisenberg described as “the love of his life and he hers.”
The two met on the 9 trolley after a mutual friend introduced them and told Helen that “Harry can help you with your algebra.” In 1948, they were married.
They were always holding hands, Eisenberg said, in the synagogue or during services or wherever people would see them.
“It was quite the love story,” she said.
She remembers her father as a true gentleman and a person who brought happiness wherever he went.
“He cared about each and every individual that had any contact with him,” she said. “I think the people who interacted with my father knew that he was a genuinely caring individual, and that he took time with everyone no matter how small or large their questions or concerns.”
Her father taught her and many others a multitude of lessons, including that “happiness is something you bring with you, the value of education, and the importance of being charitable.”
Education was something both Gross and his wife valued deeply, Eisenberg said, “because they believed that education was something that no one could take away from you.”
“My father hoped to see all four of his grandchildren finish their education — and last summer, that was accomplished,” she said, noting that two are physicians and two are Ph.D.s.
She also added that in addition to his wisdom, he also had a great sense of humor.
“As knowledgeable and intelligent as he was, he was also quite witty,” she said. “He always had a joke. Whatever the topic or discussion, Dad always had an appropriate joke.”
He and his wife were both active in the Jewish community as well, including at their longtime synagogue, Old York Road Temple-Beth Am, where funeral services were held March 16.
“Jewish education and Jewish causes were always significant to him,” Eisenberg said. “Most of the donations and things my parents did were done anonymously.” She noted that he has given to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia as well as Israel Bonds.
Gross is survived by his wife, his daughter, Betty, son, Jeffrey, and four grandchildren.
Donations may be made in his name to the Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.
Contact: mstern@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0740



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