The Passing of a Champion of Peace: Leon Charney

Leon Charney played a pivotal role in achieving the historic 1978 peace accords

From left, Anthony Barbar, chair of FAU's Board of Trustees; FAU President John Kelly; Tzili Charney; Leon Charney; and FAU Provost Gary Perry.


By amy-haycock | 3/22/2016

The University community is saddened to learn of the death of Leon Charney, who was awarded an FAU honorary doctorate last December in recognition of the pivotal role he played in achieving the historic 1978 peace accords between Israel and Egypt. Mr. Charney passed away Monday, March 21 after being in poor health for several years.

A lawyer and businessman, he worked through “back door channels” to bring together Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for peace talks at Camp David. The resulting peace agreement – the first ever concluded between the Jewish state and an Arab nation – remains in effect to this day. President Jimmy Carter called Mr. Charney “the unsung hero” of that great accomplishment.

Mr. Charney went on to become a highly successful New York real estate investor, talk show host and author. For more than 25 years, he moderated “The Leon Charney Report,” an award-winning, nationally televised program. He also wrote five books, including Back Door Channels – The Price of Peace, which was made into a documentary video that won an Emmy.

In presenting him with an honorary doctorate of humane letters, President Kelly said, “Leon Charney shows unequivocally that one person can make a huge difference in the world. Florida Atlantic University is privileged to shine a light on this unsung champion of peace.”

The University community extends sincere sympathy to Mr. Charney’s wife, Tzili, and their twin sons, Mickey and Nati.

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