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Harvey Weinstein, 82, businessman buried alive in '93

NEW YORK -- Harvey Weinstein, a former tuxedo company executive who was buried alive for 12 days after being kidnapped in 1993, has died. He was 82.

Known as the "tuxedo king," Mr. Weinstein was chief executive of Lord West, a manufacturer of formal clothing for Ralph Lauren, Pierre Cardin, and others, in addition to its own brand.

Mr. Weinstein, who reportedly had a lengthy illness, died May 13 in Central Synagogue in Manhattan, where he was a congregant, it was confirmed yesterday.

Lord West reportedly produced about 100,000 tuxedos a year and supplied more than 2,000 retailers. Mr. Weinstein also founded Tuxacco, a Bristol, Pa., company that produced and imported formalwear accessories. He eventually sold Lord West, now known as Flow Formal Alliance LLC.

Mr. Weinstein retired in 1999. The abduction occurred on Aug. 4, 1993. Fermin Rodriguez, a collar maker at Mr. Weinstein's company, and two accomplices kidnapped Mr. Weinstein as he left a diner in Queens. They drove him to Manhattan, buried him in an 8-foot-deep pit near the Hudson River, and demanded $3 million in ransom from his family.

Mr. Weinstein spent 12 days with little food and water before police found him. His first words were, "Thank God you're here, and I'd like to have a cigarette."