Randolph A. Marks, a philanthropist and business leader who, as a founder of Computer Task Group, also was a pioneer in the evolution of the computer industry, died Saturday in Palm Beach, Fla. He was 76.
The Rome, N.Y., native was a 1957 graduate of Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa. He went to work for Rome Cable and, in 1960, began a successful career in sales at IBM in Buffalo. His first clients were Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Millard Fillmore Hospital.
In 1966, Mr. Marks and his former IBM colleague G. David Baer formed Computer Task Group in Buffalo. Under their leadership, it grew from a small local operation of computer programmers and project managers into a NASDAQ corporation offering information technology and business consulting services to the health care and technology sectors in the U.S. and Europe. Mr. Marks retired as chief executive office of the company in 1984 but remained on its board until his death.
In 1985, Mr. Marks and the former president of Carborundum Co., Paul Joy, headed a group of investors that purchased American Brass, a leading U.S. producer of brass and copper products, from the Atlantic Richfield Co. Mr. Marks served chairman of that company's board until 1990, when it was sold to a Finnish firm.
Mr. Marks remained a private investor, with an office in the historic Cyclorama Building on Franklin Street. He also served on several corporate boards, including Columbus McKinnon, Ciminelli Construction, Delaware North, HSBC, Pratt & Lambert and Trico. He received numerous awards for his community leadership, including WNY Man of the Year in 1989. That same year, he was named Executive of the Year by the State University of New York School of Management. In 1998, he and his wife of 27 years, Sally, were recipients of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of WNY Award from the United Way.
Mr. Marks was a generous supporter of many cultural institutions in Buffalo. He sat on the boards of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the American Heart Association, Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo Hearing and Speech, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Seymour H. Knox Foundation, Studio Arena and Ducks Unlimited. In 1991, he established the Marks Family Foundation, which continues to support underserved populations through programs in health, education, art and the environment.
"Obviously, he was as generous to this community as he was successful," said a son, Theodore II. "The community is a better place for him having been a member of it for so long."
Though Mr. Marks suffered a serious stroke in 2001 that left him physically compromised, he remained active. He continued to fish in Iceland and New Brunswick and sail in two Shake-a-Leg regattas, among other recreational pursuits.
His first wife, Julia Wilkin Marks, died in 1999.
In addition to his wife, Sally, he is survived by two sons, Theodore E. II and Joshua R.; two daughters, Wendelyn M. Duquette and Heather M. Palmer; two stepsons, Charles Lee Abell III and Edward S.G. Abell; and a stepdaughter, Alice O'Malley Abell.
Services will be private, but a ceremony in Mr. Marks' honor will be held at 3 p.m. April 20 in Trinity Episcopal Church, 371 Delaware Ave.