This obituary is part of a collection about people today who have died in the coronavirus pandemic.
In a metropolis loaded with authentic estate V.I.P.’s, Robby Browne was a slash over.
Hillary Clinton came to his Bridgehampton dwelling for lunch. Martina Navratilova swam in his pool. Uma Thurman went to his Halloween occasion, in which he would gown up as Amal Clooney and Kellyanne Conway.
But on Saturday night time, soon after a a few-and-a-fifty percent year battle with numerous myeloma and a two-7 days bout with the new coronavirus, Mr. Browne died at his Central Park West apartment, in accordance to Jason Moore, a shut mate and movie director. He was 72.
A person of Mr. Browne’s largest true estate specials took place in 2003, when he orchestrated the $43 million sale of a penthouse apartment at the Time Warner Center. The consumer was David Martinez, the founder of Fintech, a economical advisory business, and the selling price was amid the best at any time for a Manhattan residence.
Mr. Browne wasn’t arrogant about his good results. He entered the actual estate organization in 1986 soon after quite a few vocational wrong begins, and his finest talent as a salesman was controlling not to arrive off like one particular.
The youngest of 4 little ones, Robert Mallory Browne was born on March 11, 1948, in Louisville, Ky. His father, William Kennedy Browne, graduated from Phillips Academy in Massachusetts and Yale College and was claimed to get the job done in enterprise. His mother, Elizabeth Willett Browne, went from waltzing with culture swans to providing mansions to them. Mr. Browne remaining no instant survivors.
At 13, he, as well, was transported off to Phillips Academy. Following graduation, he went to Princeton University, in which he distinguished himself as a partyer. “Robby utilised to say he was the worst scholar on campus,” his longtime good friend Colleen Keegan explained. “He was intended to graduate in ’69, but it took him until eventually ’71.”
With a bachelor’s in art history, Mr. Browne moved to Washington, the place he sold vacation offers to prep faculty pupils and Ivy Leaguers for an company referred to as Cowan Ladd Excursions. He sold so quite a few tour offers that the organization adjusted its title to Browne Ladd. Washington was in which he went to his very first homosexual bar, Dropped & Discovered, as he inched his way out of the closet.
Following he went to Harvard Organization School and, despite weak attendance, obtained his M.B.A. in 1978. He moved to New York Metropolis and uncovered a kind of household at Studio 54 even though he figured what he wanted to do with his life. He regarded expenditure banking but flunked the interview with a financial institution consultant.
“He mentioned, ‘Well if you never know what we do at the lender, you’re not the type of human being we want,’” Mr. Browne explained in a 27-moment documentary made about him in 2019 by Jeff Dupre, a shut friend and Emmy-successful filmmaker. “I claimed, ‘Well, if you just can’t inform me what you do at the bank, then that’s not a location I want to operate.’”
After that, he got it into his head that he could want to become a physician, so he enrolled at St. George’s College School of Medication, a so-known as next chance med school on the island of Grenada. His roommates, Mr. Moore claimed, had been a nun and an ex-convict. They obtained their levels. He did not.
Mr. Browne started in real-estate at Halstead, focusing on Central Park West. Amid his first promotions was promoting an condominium to Ian Schrager, just one of Studio 54’s owners, who had not long ago been introduced from jail for tax evasion.
In subsequent a long time, the flats that Mr. Browne bought got even bigger and his customers glitzier — among them, Ms. Thurman, Alec Baldwin, Denzel Washington and Mariska Hargitay.
In 2002, Mr. Browne went to the Corcoran Group, the place he won quite a few awards. In an interview on Fox 5 New York close to that time, Mr. Browne said he had gotten “hooked” into genuine estate “because I had these types of a enthusiasm for architecture.” But colleagues claimed his serious adore was currently being all over folks.
He lived according to Gore Vidal’s theory that no a single really should ever turn down the prospect to go on television or have sexual intercourse. He knew the interiors of lots of Central Park West co-op buildings simply because he experienced visited them (frequently after likely to homosexual golf equipment like the Roxy, the Saint and the Seem Manufacturing facility).
Mr. Browne was involved with several AIDS- and homosexual-linked charities like the Gay Men’s Health Disaster (his brother, Roscoe, died of AIDS in 1985), Glaad (the place he was a board member) and Sage, which advocates for L.G.B.T. elders.
He was possibly finest identified for Toys for Tots, which he begun in his apartment in 1985 to deliver toys for underprivileged children. It grew to come to be a 2,500-human being affair at Chelsea Piers, and former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was a common. (It later modified its title “Toy Party” to keep away from confusion with the properly-known charity operate by the Marines).
“I generally saw Robbie as type of a unicorn,” said Corey Johnson, the speaker of the New York Metropolis Council. “He was like a Technicolor desire coat, this omnipresent individual who everybody cherished and acquired alongside with. I achieved him when I was 20 decades outdated. I was not in politics. I did not have any funds. I didn’t know any person, and he was sweet and variety and invited me to items. I was enamored of his entire aura.”
Mr. Browne realized he had many myeloma in 2016. Chemotherapy, radiation and a stem mobile transplant failed to get the job done. Previous drop, he underwent experimental immunology remedy. When that, as well, unsuccessful he returned to radiation.
Good friends grew worried as the coronavirus epidemic worsened. His clinic visits place him at possibility. Two weeks in the past, Mr. Browne began going through flulike signs. The very first take a look at for Covid-19 came back damaging the next just one was good.
With his wellbeing deteriorating, friends proposed that he go to the medical center, but he thought he would be wasting a ventilator. He was not able to employ a hospice worker, so a physician he had mentored, Deacon Farrell, arrived to care for him.
Mr. Dupre, who served as his wellness treatment proxy, worked to get Mr. Browne’s affairs in purchase although preventing off his personal coronavirus an infection. He experienced place alongside one another the documentary movie about him, titled basically “Robby,” past calendar year, when he understood that Mr. Browne, ill with most cancers, might not make it.
At the stop of the film, Mr. Browne is driving his azure-coloured classic Chrysler on an empty road in the Hamptons. It is the close of a superb tumble working day, the prime is down, his Labrador pet at his facet. The digicam pans up to the sky as Mr. Browne shares his philosophy of existence.
“It’s so tricky to obtain one’s way,” he reported. “So tricky. And I’m a no cost spirit. For me, it is been gentle and really like and peace. I want people today to stay and be very pleased of who they are mainly because there’s not much time. We’re all below. So let us have enjoyment.”