2015 Kogod Alum, David Kabakow, Dies of Rare Immune Disease

Originally published online by The Eagle on October 31, 2015.

David Kabakow, an alum of the 2015 class of the Kogod School of Business and a Founding Father of Zeta Beta Tau, died Friday, Oct. 23 from a rare immune disease, according to a Facebook post by ZBT.

Matt Grossman, a 2015 alum and a longtime friend of Kabakow, described his friend as well-liked, personable and genuine.

“He’ll be remembered as someone with an enormous heart and someone with a lot of ambition,” Grossman said.

In his time at AU, Kabakow studied abroad in the London Internship Program and was also highly involved in the Gospel Choir as well as ZBT. In ZBT, he served as both a Founding Father and the Alumni Chair.

“He joined ZBT because he wanted to leave something behind at AU and show that nice guys could join a social fraternity,” Grossman said.

Grossman added that although Kabakow was instrumental in ZBT’s start at AU, he played a laid-back role that went along with his likability.

“He was a leader, but a quiet leader,” Grossman said.

Kabakow earned his real estate license at 18 and worked as an agent in both New York and New Jersey. His Instagram account was typically filled with photos of property listings in New York, Grossman recalled, adding that Kabakow’s death is also a huge loss for the real estate community.

ZBT is in the process of planning a service in Kabakow’s memory, according to ZBT president, Max Okabayashi. More details will be posted on ZBT’s Facebook page as they become available.

Grossman also noted that Kabakow’s death is the latest in a five-month string of tragedies that have affected the AU community.

“AU has gone through a lot these last few months with the loss of Mark [Bevilacqua], and then Kevin [Sutherland], and then Matt [Shlonsky], and now David. AU has lost four great students and recent graduates,” he said.

All three men died in unrelated incidents in June, July and August, respectively.

At the same time, Grossman said he is confident that the memories of these individuals will live on through in their impacts in our community.

“The AU community has lost a lot of people, and it’s important to remember that the reason we’re hurting is because they touched us in such a positive manner,” he said.


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