Another side of Ben Novack Jr.


This is a word in defense of the memory of Ben Novack Jr., whose wife, Narcy, and brother-in-law were convicted in New York for orchestrating his murder. A lot of titillating allegations, and worse, were made public about Ben’s personal life during the investigation and trial. Most of them were made by his wife. Naturally, they all received intense media attention. Not many other things about Ben attracted media interest.

Ben was more than just a rich guy from a famous family who lived large and met violent deaths. He also was a smart businessman with almost endless energy and a sharp focus on detail. Like his father, it was not in Ben’s nature to be fully satisfied with the quality or cost of anything. But he usually worked longer and harder hours than anyone else.

After the bankruptcy of the Fontainebleau, Ben’s father lived modestly and managed a small motel on Miami Beach. He put together an estate that he left to Ben and his mother. By then, Ben was in business for himself and was becoming successful. I was the attorney for Ben Sr.’s estate. I saw Ben work his way through a thicket of his father’s financial disputes. He did it the right way. He either paid the claims or defeated them in court. In a few years he satisfied the creditors and salvaged what he could for his mother and himself, as the heirs. At the same time, Ben built his small business into a big one, and eventually it became a fortune.

I knew Ben and his mother, Bernice, quite well. I met Narcy soon after Ben and she began to date. I was at their wedding. I spent many hours in their company. I believe that Ben loved Narcy. I am sure that he loved his mother and that she loved him. There always was an uneasy ‘truce’ between the women.

May Ben and his sweet mother rest in peace.

Woodrow ‘Mac’ Melvin Jr., Miami

Read more Speak Up stories from the Miami Herald

  • Public Insight Network

    Gun-free zones can be defenseless targets

    It is about time that society recognizes that gun-free zones mean that, besides law enforcement, the only person with a gun is a criminal who has a multitude of targets unable to fight back. There is great truth to the NRA slogan, “Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.”

  • Public Insight Network

    Educators meant to teach, not shoot

    It’s highly unlikely that an armed teacher would be in the right place at the right time to intervene with an armed assailant. And teachers are hired to educate, not shoot people. Many schools have armed resource officers (Miami-Dade has the school police), and having armed teachers is no guarantee that students could be protected from an Adam Lanza or Dylan Klebold.

  • MIA soars as an economic engine

    Miami International Airport has long been Miami-Dade County’s No. 1 economic engine. As a public enterprise fund, MIA generates nearly $33 billion in positive economic impact for our community, supports one out of every four local jobs and drives commerce and trade at no cost to local taxpayers.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category