In Memoriam: Benjamin Zuckerman

Just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, news of the passing of packaging pioneer Ben Zuckerman, 72, of Zuckerman-Honickman quietly spread through the beverage community. Zuckerman, who was president of the fourth-generation bottling and canning firm, left his son Michael in charge of the company and a strong legacy of innovation within the industry. On behalf of the entire BevNET team, we extend our condolences to his friends and loved ones.

Our publisher, Barry Nathanson, left us with this remembrance of Mr. Zuckerman.

There will be so many testimonials and tributes to Ben over the next few days, all so richly deserved. He was a man of honor and integrity, a philanthropist and supporter of Israel, with a long time standing in the beverage industry. Z/H was the epitome of success, for their innovation, risk taking and attention to detail. His name is on the door and he was zealous in guarding their reputation. He did it well. They always supported and encouraged the new entrepreneurs and gave them advice and encouragement, and he put his dollars into the game. They took chances on brands that no one would support. Sometimes, he got burned, but mostly the investment helped the brand thrive. He admired the creative process and brought that into every business decision. If he saw the passion and they thought the idea was viable, Ben and Z/H would take the leap of faith. All this will be his legacy.

To me, the true measure of Ben was that he was a family man. In all my interactions with him, family was foremost in our conversations. He adored his son and his grandchildren. Business was business, but the twinkle in his eye was always about his brood. He had a teddy bear, lovable persona that shone through. I always judge a person, first and foremost, about how they are as family people. It tells me more about a person than anything else. Michael, who is one of my dearest industry friends, was a product of his upbringing. He was raised right and he adored his father. All, in all, Ben was the consummate family man. That speaks volumes.