S. Harrison Dogole, Executive, Fund-raiser

Posted: December 15, 1999

S. Harrison Dogole, 77, a former security-firm head who was also a major fund-raiser for Jewish philanthropies and Democratic politicians, died Monday in Wellington, Fla.

Mr. Dogole, who was widely known by his nickname, "Sonny," held senior positions at Globe Security Systems, one of the country's largest detective and security firms, for 46 years. He was chairman and chief executive of the firm when he retired in 1989.

Mr. Dogole's prowess as a fund-raiser for Jewish causes earned him repeated honors from the State of Israel Bond drive and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and his skill as a Democratic Party fund-raiser earned him a place on President Nixon's enemies list.

When his position on the list was disclosed in 1973 during the Watergate investigation, Mr. Dogole expressed great surprise.

"As to why I might be on such a list, I can only conclude it might have been something to do with my close personal friendship with Hubert Humphrey and, secondly, that I was Humphrey's national finance director in 1972," he said.

Mr. Dogole was a 1939 graduate of Simon Gratz High School, where he was class president. His wife, Marilyne, said that he was particularly proud of his Gratz connection and never missed a reunion until this year, when illness forced him to.

"He was lifelong president of Gratz," said his wife.

She said that she and her husband sold their home in Lafayette Hill and moved to Lake Worth, Fla., about a year ago.

At various times, Mr. Dogole was a fund-raiser for Humphrey, Sen. Edward Kennedy, Sen. Henry Jackson, former Gov. Robert P. Casey and Mayors Rizzo, Green and Rendell, among others.

In 1980, after Kennedy, whom he had supported, dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary against President Carter, Mr. Dogole led an unsuccessful effort get the party nomination for Jackson.

David Cohen, Rendell's former chief of staff, said Mr. Dogole has been an early supporter of Rendell in the 1970s.

"He was one of the handful of people who thought that Ed Rendell could be someone," said Cohen. "In some ways, he was like a second father to Ed Rendell. . . .

"Sonny was one of the most decent and honorable men in politics. He was universally respected."

Cohen said the respect with which Mr. Dogole was regarded helped him in his fund-raising.

"He was the opposite of an extortionate fund-raiser," Cohen said.

He called Mr. Dogole "a real gentleman in a business not known for its gentlemen."

Mr. Dogole played major roles in Rendell's unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign in 1986 and his unsuccessful mayoral campaign in 1987. By the time of Rendell's successful mayoral campaign in 1991, Mr. Dogole was still involved, said Cohen, but less than in the past.

Rendell was in California yesterday and could not be reached for comment. His press aide, Kevin Feeley, called Mr. Dogole "a great friend of the Democratic Party."

"The mayor thought the world of him and it's a shame that he's no longer with us," he said.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Dogole is survived by three sons, James and Ian Dogole and Mitchell Wilf; and a sister.

A memorial service will be held tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at Har Zion Temple on Hagys Ford Road in Penn Valley. Interment will be at Roosevelt Memorial Park on Lincoln Highway in Trevose.

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