For the Love of the Law
My father was proud to live in a country ruled by laws and had a great fondness for all who practiced law.
For the Love of the LawAugust 11, 2015
Fifty years after Bloomfield resident Harold Beznos earned his juris doctor from Detroit College of Law—now MSU College of Law—he is honoring the memory of his father, Samuel Beznos, by funding a three-year full-tuition scholarship that is the first of its kind for MSU Law.
“My father helped to improve the lives of many people,” says the MSU alumnus, who credits his success to his law studies and to his father’s example. “He also felt strongly that if you were successful in business, it was important to help others in need of a helping hand.”
The success of Samuel Beznos defied the odds. He and his wife, Faye, immigrated to Detroit from Poland at the height of the Great Depression. Multilingual and experienced but unable to find a job, he opted to sell merchandise to various stores. He was selling neckties when his skills caught the eye of a regional manager for American National Insurance Company, who offered him a job selling debit policies.
The elder Beznos accepted and excelled, going on to start Bird Realty on Woodward Avenue in the 1940s. He went from working as a real estate salesman to an owner of real estate to a developer of real estate who was known equally for compassion and fairness.
“My father worked closely with his customers, and if someone missed payments because he or she was laid off or sick, my father helped them by postponing or restructuring their debt so they could hold on to their homes and businesses,” says Beznos. “He was proud to live in a country ruled by laws and had a great fondness for all who practiced law.”
Inspired and encouraged by his father to become a lawyer, Beznos was in school when he and his brothers, Norman and Jerry, took over the family business. Their first project—an apartment building in Southfield—launched Harold Beznos’s career as a lawyer and his brothers’ careers as real estate developers.
After their father’s death in 1966, the Beznos brothers and attorney and family friend Jerry Luptak co-founded the Beztak Companies, which they’ve continued to develop while also expanding into banking and industrial manufacturing.
“I am pleased to provide this scholarship to a deserving student,” Harold Beznos says. “My father taught me the value of an education, which prepares one to achieve future success. I want to give back to someone with high ethical standards who may need some assistance. Law school is expensive these days, but the need for good lawyers is ever great.”Lois Furry