This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.
Stanley Chera, a major New York real estate developer and a friend of President Trump, died on Saturday at a Manhattan hospital after a nearly monthlong struggle with the coronavirus. He was 77.
President Trump confirmed the death on Twitter in a message of condolence addressed to the family. “My deepest sympathies go out to Frieda Chera and the family of the late, great, Stanley Chera, one of Manhattan’s most brilliant real estate minds,” he wrote.
Mr. Chera’s wife, Frieda, known as Cookie, also had the illness but has recovered.
Mr. Chera was a founder of Crown Acquisitions, a real estate agency, and owned several well-known properties in Manhattan, including the St. Regis New York Hotel and the Cartier Mansion. Crown is also an investor in some World Trade Center buildings and the owner of numerous Brooklyn and Manhattan retail assets, including the Fulton Mall.
He and the president shared a longtime bond as fellow New York developers, and Mr. Chera was an early financial backer of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.
In late March, Mr. Trump took the unusual step of speaking about his friend’s illness from the podium at the White House.
“I had a friend who went to a hospital the other day,” he said. “He’s a little older, and he’s heavy, but he’s a tough person.”
Alluding to the lethal nature of the coronavirus, Mr. Trump added, “The speed and the viciousness, especially if it gets the right person, it’s horrible.”
He mentioned Mr. Chera from the White House podium again the next day.
“He’s sort of central casting for what we’re talking about, and it hit him very hard,” Mr. Trump said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
A complete obituary will be published soon.