Legacy Society - Charles Evans
Charles Evans - Launching Careers for a Better Future
was born and educated in New York. After serving in the United States Army, he went to work as a salesman in the fashion business.
He had the idea of giving women's skirts a "menswear look" and designed a variation on a simple skirt with a fly front that he thought would find a market among fashion-conscious women. In need of a sample that he could take around to stores and sell, he approached his father's tailor, Joseph Picone, who was working out of a storefront on Fifth Avenue near 46th Street.
For his next challenge, Mr. Evans went into the commercial real estate business, forming, with his brother-in-law, architect Michael Shure, The Evans Partnership. Within a short period of time, the company became one of the major developers of office buildings in the Northeast.
In 1975, tragedy struck. An apartment fire took the lives of his two daughters and former wife, sparing their only son, Charles Evans, Jr. He went public with the story of his loss, sent out 4,000 smoke detectors as gifts and launched a massive chain letter which prompted the legislation that made smoke detectors mandatory in most homes throughout the United States today.
In 1981, Mr. Evans ventured into the movie business. He developed a screenplay about an actor who succeeds when dressed as a woman, and produced the film TOOTSIE. Its success spurred him to produce additional films.
Mr. Evans died on June 2, 2007 in New York City, at the age of eighty-one.
Prior to his death, Mr. Evans chose six trustees to distribute the residual assets of his Estate to charities of their choice. Thus far, the Trustees have distributed Mr. Evans' endowment to hundreds of charities.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County is one of those Charities. An endowment funds was established to support the Club's Career Launch programs, and also to provide 2-4 scholarships to graduating seniors each year.
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