By Dustin Brown
-By Dustin Brown
Ned Arnold, a respected borough business leader who served multiple terms as president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce and built a thriving truck maintenance business, died Nov. 2. He was 94.
The cause was cardiopulmonary failure, according to his family.
Arnold was born on Nov. 27, 1906 in Brooklyn. He started to develop his interest in business and automotive service in 1920 when he began working as a helper in his father’s garage.
In 1926, 20-year-old Arnold founded the Tire Distributing Corp. in Woodside, which specialized in truck tires and fleet maintenance, servicing companies like Con Ed, Railway Express and Long Island Lighting.
Arnold earned a national reputation in the automotive transport industry and his knowledge was tapped by President Eisenhower’s Conference on Highway Safety as well as city and state councils on highway safety.
He rebuilt the business at the age of 65 when it was destroyed in a five-alarm fire in 1970.
Also an avid aviator, Arnold helped establish the Long Island Flying Service at Roosevelt Field. An acquaintance of Charles Lindbergh, he was invited to the party honoring Lindberg’s historic solo flight from Roosevelt Field to Paris.
He was married for 68 years to Julia, whom he courted in their youth by flying down in his airplane and meeting her in a cornfield on Long Island.
As a six-term president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce and director of the State Chamber of Commerce, Arnold played a role in forums on the borough’s development.
Arnold had a longstanding relationship with New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens since the Salvation Army opened it as Booth Memorial Hospital in 1957, and served at the time of his death as a life trustee. He and his wife helped fund and bring to reality the hospital’s Julia and Ned R. Arnold Center for Radiation Oncology in 1995, providing patients with one of the newest and largest facilities in the nation for state-of-the-art radiation therapy.
He also served as chairman of the Greater New York American Red Cross, as well as fund-raising chairman for the Boys Club of America, the United Hospital Fund and the Boy Scouts of America.
Arnold is survived by his brother, Hy Arnold; his daughter, Pamela Arnold Dawson; her husband, Arnold Donovan Dawson; and his grandson, Alexander Arnold Dawson.