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Levitt, William Jaird (11 February 1907–28 January 1994), real estate developer and building contractor, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Abraham Levitt, a lawyer and building contractor, and Pauline A. Biederman. After attending Brooklyn’s public schools, Levitt studied at New York University for three years but, eager to make money, did not graduate. Although he once aspired to a career in commercial aviation, when he was twenty-two he joined with his father and brother Alfred to create Levitt and Sons, a construction company that specialized in single-family housing. That same year he married Rhoda Kirsher; they had two children....

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Starrett, William Aiken (14 June 1877–25 March 1932), engineer, building contractor, and real-estate financier, was born in Lawrence, Kansas, the son of William A. Starrett, a Presbyterian minister, farmer, and lawyer, and Helen Martha Ekin, a Quaker teacher, journalist, and editor. He attended the University of Michigan for two years, then returned to graduate with a degree in civil engineering in 1917. In 1900 Starrett married Eloise Gedney of East Orange, New Jersey; they had two children....