HERBERT H. OSTROW
Herbert H. Ostrow was one of the founding directors of Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams, Ltd., and served as the firm’s Managing Director until 1989. He retired on June 1, 1998, following his 52nd tax season.
Herb and six other directors – Bernie Reisin, Bernie Berk, Al Abrams, Kal Shiner, Mel Strauss, Earle Kessler – founded the firm in 1977. Until 1970, Herb and four of the other founding directors had worked for the Chicago CPA firm Miller, Mandell & Company, where Herb had started his accounting career 24 years earlier. Miller, Mandell & Company merged with Laventhol & Horwath in 1970. In 1977, Herb and ORBA’s other founders took a risk and withdrew from the firm to venture out on their own.
Since then, ORBA has grown to 120 people and is not only listed among Crain’s Chicago’s Largest Accounting Firms, but also has been a Chicago Tribune’s Top Workplace for five years running.
On his retirement, Herb was not worried about the future of ORBA: “I have always believed that if you do your best and inspire those with whom you work to do their best as well, the future will take care of itself,” he said. “And that’s not an original idea – it came from Abraham Lincoln.”
Herb graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College, and earned his M.C.S. with distinction, from the Amos Tuck School of Administration and Finance, also at Dartmouth College. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society. He served as chairman for both the ICPAS Local Practitioners’ Committee and the Committee for Visiting CPAs on College Campuses. He was also the Secretary of ICPAS and a member of the ICPAS Board of Directors. He taught auditing at the University of Chicago, University College and has published articles and given presentations on numerous accounting topics throughout his career.
Herb was married to Rose (nee Brown) in 1942. She predeceased him in 1985. They have two sons, Samuel D. (Judy) and Joel S. (Alberta). Herb was an adoring grandfather of Ethan, Jesse, Caitlin, Adam and Rachel.