Alan S. Becker, 1946-2020, passed away at the age of 74 on July 4, 2020. He was a beloved son, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Mr. Becker grew up in Brooklyn, where his parents Jack and Lorraine Becker met and were married. He spent his spent summers with his late brother Martin at Sun Mountain overnight camp. He entered Brooklyn College at the age of 16 and then went on to graduate from the University of Miami School of Law, receiving the highest grade on the Bar Exam in 1969.
Mr. Becker began his legal career in the Office of the Attorney General and as an Assistant Public Defender (1969-1972).
At the age of 26, Mr. Becker became the (then) youngest person to be elected as a State Representative in the Florida Legislature, where he served three terms (1972-1978). As a member of the Legislature and the Florida Law Revision Council (1975-1976), he was the principal author and/or sponsor of the Condominium Act, Florida Corporation Act, Mechanic’s Lien Act, Evidence Code, Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve Act, and Reformed Dade County Grand Jury system, and more. Mr. Becker was a lifelong Democrat who prided himself on being able to work collaboratively and collegiately with people on both sides of the aisle in order to get things done for the betterment of his State, a practice he continued throughout his life and career.
Mr. Becker met his friend and future law partner, Gary Poliakoff, in law school during a mock trial competition when they were paired up and won the binding real-life case on behalf of their client. They decided to form a partnership and began by working out of the trunk of a car, passionately advocating for the rights of condominium owners and associations. Together they founded Becker & Poliakoff, PA, which is now one of the top twenty largest law firms in Florida with twelve offices throughout the state as well as additional offices in New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. For a time, Mr. Becker served as the Managing Shareholder of the Firm.
“To spend any time with Alan was to know that his was a special intellect, with an interest in so many aspects of the world, and insights that brought a unique perspective. Like so many of us who have worked together for decades, he brought me to our firm and for that and so many other things, I am always grateful,” said Gary C. Rosen, Becker’s Managing Shareholder.
A successful businessman, political leader, and college lecturer, Florida Trend magazine has recognized Mr. Becker as a member of the “Legal Elite” every year since the award’s inception. He was also recognized by South Florida CEO Magazine as a member of South Florida’s “Power Elite” and by CAMACOL, the Latin Chamber of Commerce, as “Professional of the Year”. In addition, he was selected by his peers to be included in the 2006 “Best Lawyers in America” and was awarded the Global Achievement Award by the Florida Council of International Development. The Daily Business Review honored him with the publication’s Lifetime Achievement Award (for the legal profession) in 2015.
Mr. Becker was a member of the Enterprise Florida (EFI) Board of Directors for twenty years and served as Vice-Chair (2015-2017). Enterprise Florida is the official economic development organization for the State of Florida. In 2012, he was awarded the Governor’s Business Ambassador Medallion for his contributions to economic development in Florida. He also previously served as the Chair of the Beacon Council (2011-2012), Miami-Dade County’s economic development agency, and served on the Board of Directors of Florida Atlantic University Foundation.
Mr. Becker was the Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic (1992-2016). He passed the Czech Bar, an accomplishment achieved by very few foreigners.
He was also the author of two books. He co-authored the first, “Florida Rules of Evidence.” He also wrote, “There’s Always Room at the Top: The 8 Secrets of the Super Successful,” in which he provided life lessons from interviews with super successful people in various fields, including politics, the arts, and corporate America. In his book, Mr. Becker narrated how these individuals identified and grasped opportunity, overcame adversity, persevered through difficulty, and maintained a positive outlook in the face of negative events. These interviews and his own experiences were intended to be a source of inspiration and strength.
Mr. Becker taught the “Business of Law” at the University of Miami Law School, and “Leadership” at Keiser University. He once said that “law and politics were in his blood, and teaching served his soul.” Always the historian, he was known to quote world leaders. His first lesson in every class: Winston Churchill’s “Never, ever, ever quit.”
Mr. Becker is survived by his mother, Lorraine Becker, his beloved wife, Debra Jean Becker, his two daughters, Marni and Ilana, his son-in-law, Roie, and his two grandchildren, Adam and Sabrina. He was a loving son, husband, father, and grandfather, who loved listening to NPR, going to Broadway shows, and spending time with his dogs and at his beautiful house in Maine. In his “free” time, he enjoyed painting landscapes and watching his grandson change the world through his non-profit, Wuf Shanti Children’s Wellness Foundation, of which he also sat on the Board.
He asked to thank all of his colleagues, clients, supporters, and friends, and wanted you to know that he “had a good run, and wishes you a longer one.” He said it with a smile, as that was his sense of humor.
Services will be held virtually on Zoom, on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at 11:00am, with Shiva to follow from 2:00pm-4:00pm, and again on Wednesday, July 8 from 5:00pm-7:00pm.
To attend, please visit https://tinyurl.com/AlanBeckerServices
In lieu of flowers or food, please consider a donation to:
Wuf Shanti Children’s Wellness Foundation https://wufshanti.com/
He will be missed by many and remembered always.