UncategorizedSteve Rubell: Details About The Life & Death of The Studio 54...

Steve Rubell: Details About The Life & Death of The Studio 54 Co-Owner

Steve Rubell was a famous Jewish-American entrepreneur who became known as the co-founder and co-owner of the nightclub, Studio 54. He founded the nightclub alongside his lifelong college friend and business partner Ian Schrager in 1977. The club was famous for the co-habiting alchemy of the rich, poor, gay, straight, old, and young.

Following his success as a businessperson, he sadly lost his life to the cold hands of death in 1989 at 46. His cause of death was reported to be hepatitis and septic shock complicated by AIDS.

Personal Profile of Steve Rubell

  • Full Name: Steve Rubell
  • Date of Birth: December 2, 1943
  • Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York City
  • Age: 46
  • Gender: Male
  • Nationality: Jewish-American
  • Ethnicity: Mixed
  • Zodiac Sign: Sigittarius
  • Profession: Enterpreneur
  • Education: George Wingate High School, Syracuse University, Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity
  • Sexual Orientation: Homosexual
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Parents: Philip Rubell and Ann Rubell
  • Sibling (s): Donald Rubell
  • Famous For: Co-Owner Studio 54
  • Death: July 25, 1989 (AIDS)

The Early life and Education of Steve Rubell

46-year-old Steve Rubell was born on December 2, 1943, in the city of Brooklyn, New York to his parents, Philip Rubell and Ann Rubell. His father worked as a postmaster who supervises a mail facility and was a skilled tennis player. While his mother worked as a receipt cashier in his place of business. Steve grew up alongside his younger sibling Donald.

As regards his education, Rubell attended George W. Wingate High School a defunct comprehensive high school located in Brooklyn, New York City. After his graduation from high school, he attended a private college; Syracuse University in New York City, where he majored in finance. He obtained both his undergraduate and post-graduate degrees from the university in the field of finance.

He was also a member of the Sigma Alpha Mu College fraternity which was founded as a Jewish organization. It was while he was here that he met his friend Ian Schrager who later became his business partner. Steve was also an avid tennis player taking after his father, but he did not make a career out of it due to his passion for business.

Steve Rubell Started his Business as a Restaurateur in the 1970s

The passion Steve grew for business manifested later in life after he tried to start a chain of restaurants with Ian Schrager. Before his restaurant business, he worked in the National Guard as military intelligence and also in a brokerage firm in New York City. He quit his job to follow the constant drive which was compelling him to start up his own business.

Steve started by opening two restaurants alongside Schrager. One of the restaurants is named Steak Lofts located in New York City, while the other was located in Mystic, Connecticut in the United States. He and his business partner witnessed a booming and smooth business in the early 1970s.

He co-founded the club 54 studio in 1977

Following the success of their restaurant business, the two came up with other compelling ideas to expand their business to other fields. Steve Rubell was later introduced to the business of the dance and disco market in 1975 by John Addison of La Jardin. Shortly, he met a disco promoter, Billy Amato Smith, executive vice president of the 20th Century Fox Records who used his influence and knowledge to help Steve carry out the desired business plan.

That said, as the disco market was hitting up and booming, Steve and Schrager opened two clubs, The Enchanted Garden in 1975, which was renamed, Douglaston Manor. This was soon followed by another, Studio 54 in 1977, which was formerly a radio/TV dubbing studio owned by CBS. It took them just a few weeks to transform the CBS studio into a nightclub, maintaining its old TV and theatrical sets.

Rubell and his friend became familiar names as the clubs experienced a huge turnaround with celebrities grazing the club at intervals due to its exclusiveness. The club was at its height when disco culture was popular and New York was a regular dance club hub.

Steve Rubell and Ian dominated the disco business in the 1970s, and the business partners made a huge sum of $7 million in their first year of operation.

See Also: Who Is PnB Rock? Facts about the Rapper and Cause of Death

Steve was Imprisoned in 1980

In a controversial interview Steve made in 1978, he was quoted as saying that only the mafia made more money than the club brought in. This statement attracted unfamiliar faces like the IRS, and the club was raided on two occasions.

It was reported that Steve and his partner had defaulted in terms of their financial reports and tax evasion policies. After the second raid in 1980, they were charged with tax evasion and fined $20,000 each. Also, they were sentenced to three and a half years in prison

The initial jail term was subsequently cut short to just a year and thanks to that, they were released in 1981 and both parties had an agreement to sell their club for $4.75 million.

After the sale of the club, Rubell ventured into the hotel business when they founded the Executive Hotel which was later renamed Morgans. It was garnered that a private research university known as the New York University was built on it following the demolition of the hotel sometime in 1998.

Besides the Morgans hotel, Steve and his partner had other plans and they acquired more hotel suites like Royalton Hotel which they renovated, Century Paramount Hotel, and Barbizon Hotel.

Health and Death of Steven Rubell

He was diagnosed with HIV in 1985

Steve Rubell’s life took a turn from which he never returned in 1985 when he was diagnosed with HIV. Sadly, this later progressed and transformed into AIDS.

It was reported that he was a homosexual who was closeted about his status and this led to his diagnosis of AIDS. An unidentified friend at that time also said that when he saw Rubell, he was very sick and looked emaciated.

However, his long-time business partner Ian Shrager said that Steve was not suffering from AIDS since there was nothing about him he didn’t know, but was only treating hepatitis, severe peptic ulcer, and kidney failure at a hospital known as Beth Israel Hospital, in New York City.

As the story continues, it was also reported that his illness was worsened by his constant usage of drugs like AZT (Anti Viral Drugs), which affected his immune system the more. After three years of a long battle with his sickness, he sought medical attention a few weeks before his death at the Beth Medical Center in New York and several attempts to keep him alive were futile

Steve Rubell Died in 1989

Sadly, Steve passed on at the aforementioned medical center where he sought treatment. He died on July 25, 1989, at the age of 46.

The cause of his death was officially reported to be hepatitis and septic shock complicated by AIDS.

Steve Rubell was laid to rest at Beth Moses Cemetry in Farmingdale, New York City on July 27, 1989.

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