MIAMI — Leonard L. Abess Sr., the co-founder and chairman emeritus of City National Bank of Florida, died last week at 97.

Mr. Abess spent nearly 70 years in banking. He began his career in 1933 when he founded Miami Beach Federal, the second authorized federal savings and loan in America, with the late Baron de Hirsch Meyer.

The two also founded North Shore Bank in 1946, purchased Industrial Savings Bank in 1948, and established City National Bank of Coral Gables in 1955. They merged all the banks in 1977 to form City National Bank of Florida, which has assets of $1.84 billion.

City National is still owned and operated by the Abess family. Leonard L. Abess Jr. is chairman, president, and CEO.

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