Robert Speisman of Lazare Kaplan dies on hijacked plane

Robert Speisman, director of marketing at Lazare Kaplan International, New York, died Tuesday on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.

American Airlines released a partial, preliminary list of passengers and flight crew names to the media today of those who were on board Flight 77 (and American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into New York’s World Trade Center) and Speisman’s name was on the list. Several news organizations released the list of names. A Lazare Kaplan spokesman on Thursday confirmed that Speisman, 47, of Irvington, N.Y., was on the flight. The company is planning to issue a formal statement.

Speisman, was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757, which was en route to Los Angeles from Washington Dulles when it was apparently hijacked by terrorists and flown into the Pentagon at 9:53 a.m. He was one of 58 passengers, four flight attendants, and two pilots who were on the plane.

The spokesperson for the American Gem Society said that Speisman was traveling to Los Angeles on business. From Los Angeles he was planning to go to the AGS fall meeting in Vancouver, Canada, where he served as chairman of the organization’s Board of Trustees and was the founding board member of AGS Managers. AGS has canceled its meeting, which was scheduled to be held tomorrow and Friday.