Philip J. Hahn, a co-chairman of diamond powerhouse M. Fabrikant and Sons, died recently at age 80. A veteran of World War II working in military intelligence and code-breaking, Hahn joined Fabrikant in 1947, working with partner and cousin Charles F. Fortgang.
Among his many innovations was establishing the first American-owned overseas buying office, rather than using local buying agents, remembers Rick Cohen, Fabrikant’s executive vice president. “He had the broadest range of any diamond man that I ever came across,” Cohen says. “From $40-per-carat single cuts to stones that are worth over a million, Phil was fluent in all of them.”
Cohen notes Hahn still came to the office up until a month before he died. “He was as sharp as a tack,” says Cohen. “He was still very much involved, and he cared about the business very much.”
Cohen also remembers Hahn as a “straight shooter” who didn’t pull punches. “He would tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly,” Cohen says. “He was recognized throughout the world and commanded a lot of respect.”