In Memoriam: Charles Wang, 74

Charles Wang will be remembered a variety of different ways throughout the country and world.  People will remember him for his presence in both the business and sports world and as the owner of the Islanders and various other local sports teams.  Of course, there is also Wang’s philanthropic work through the Charles B. Wang Foundation which has supported causes from rescuing missing and exploited children to public education.

But Vision remembers Wang as a man who wanted to improve the area where he grew up.  Settling in Queens after leaving his native Shanghai, China at the age of 8, Wang saw the Nassau Coliseum as part of his neighborhood.  He would work to create a local hub that could support both a major sports franchise as well as a destination for the surrounding area. 

He worked with groups across Nassau County including Vision by holding over 200 public meetings generating local support for the proposed Lighthouse project that was visionary for its time.  That project was set back due to bureaucratic malaise and a lack of infrastructure funding.  A subsequent referendum on public financing for the Coliseum was rejected by voters and more recently he worked to bring the Islanders back with current proposals for Belmont Park.   We commend his efforts for seeking to improve Nassau County and his vision, charity and dedication to local community initiatives should be acknowledged. 

Here are just some of the many articles celebrating Mr. Wang’s life, at the New York TimesForbes, ESPNNewsday, and LI Business News.