electrical engineering classes, and was then assigned to the military staff at Los Alamos, New Mexico as a technician on the Manhattan Project. After his discharge, he returned to NYU on the GI bill, and earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
Following college, he traveled to Pittsfield, MA, and worked in his uncle’s plumbing and heating supply business. He had hopes of landing a General Electric job, but then considered starting out on his own.
Humbly, he says he thought of a business “I had no business going into!” baseboard heating. The heating method was in its infancy with about seven or eight companies in the market, including giants like American Standard and Crane Company. With only $2,000 in his pocket, he partnered with a tool and die maker, and they began to craft a better heater. Looking back, Mr. Dubin says, “One advantage was our ignorance of all the reasons it might fail.” The air designed the V-shaped fin and in 1949 founded American Slant/Fin Radiation Corporation, delivering “an improved product with some personality, the V-shaped fin.” adds Mr. Dubin.
Today, Slant/Fin Corporation of Greenvale, Long Island, is the country’s leading manufacturer of baseboard heating equipment, is a major producer of boilers and portable germ-free humidifiers, and has 500 employees in factories in the U.S. and Canada.
Always interested in technology, Mr. Dubin and some fellow Jewish engineers began supporting Technion, Israel’s oldest and premier institute of science and technology. Through the American Technion Society (ATS), a national organization founded in 1940 and based in New York City, Mr. Dubin has offered financial support. A member of the board of governors of Technion, Mr. Dubin has also served as chairman of the ATS metropolitan region.
Some 20 years ago, a group of Technion supporters who wished to go beyond fundraising gathered at Mr. Dubin’s Slant/Fin offices and decided to sponsor a research project. Their first grant of $300,000 was applied to research on an anti-inflammatory compound for rheumatoid arthritis.
The group formed Redox Pharmaceutical Corporation, and American-Israeli company, of which Mr. Dubin is chairman. To date, Redox has attracted some 250 shareholders who have invested $17 million for drug development. As research continued on the newly created compounds, it was learned that they had exceptional anti-viral properties. Redox compounds demonstrate efficacy against the Herpes viruses, the Adenovirus, the Papilloma virus and HIV, the AIDS virus. The initial product is now in FDA Phase II Efficacy tests for ophthalmic application.
Although original research began in Israel, the company is now located a the Columbia University biomedical incubator facility, under D. David Gershon, the former head of Technion Biology Department. “It’s amazing that we’ve been able to come this far,” comments Mr. Dubin, adding that shareholders include a former Chairman of Long Island Jewish Hospital as well as three Holocaust survivors, three rabbis and investors around the world.
One of Mr. Dubin’s earliest philanthropic endeavors included membership in UJA-Federation, where he was chairman for his industry and the Great Neck community. He has served as co-chairman of the Metal Trades Division of Anti-Defamation League, and he is currently a trustee of the Gurwin Jewish Geriatric Center and North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.
His interest in international health and goodwill led to various involvements, including his service as chairman of American Friends of the Israel Museum of Science and Technology, member of the board of sponsors of Holocaust Publications and a founder of Israel Hospital Fund. He is an officer of the Center for War/Peace Studies, founded following World War II seeking to abolish war. The center offered a publication for United Nations and World Federation members, as well as others who sought to develop a program for lasting peace.
Most recently, he has provided a space to the Lymphatic Research Foundation, which seeks to provide funds for research against lymphatic diseases. Asked about the mix of corporate and nonprofit in the same building, Mr. Dubin simply states, “It’s the logical thing to do; there’s no distraction form the corporate effort, and you wind up earning a mitzvah” (good deed).
Mr. Dubin says he was influenced by his truly great teachers at Townsend Harris and by exceptional people at UJA and on his missions to Israel. “I’ve met outstanding people at North Shore-LIJ, too, who devote themselves to recreating one of the best hospital systems in the country.”
Mr. Dubin lives in Great Neck. His son Adam, an NYU graduate and film and video writer-producer, is president of Slant/Fin Corporation.