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Nina Jaffe Gruen, matriarch, prescient behavioral analyst, pioneering feminist and art-connoisseur, passed away on September 15, 2017. Born on December 14, 1933, to Lester A. Jaffe, a prominent attorney, and Rosa Shor, a respected community leader. She grew up on a 6-acre estate in Amberly Village, a suburb outside Cincinnati. She graduated from Walnut Hills High School, and subsequently earned a BA Phi Beta Kappa and an MA degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Cincinnati.

“Store Location and Customer Behavior,” written jointly by Nina and her husband Claude and published by the Urban Land Institute in 1966, was the first of over 80 articles she authored or co-authored concerning the behavior of real estate users, owners and developers. Her first book, Low and Moderate-Income Housing in the Suburbs, co-authored with Claude, was published by Praeger in 1972. Her most recent book, published by Amazon in 2015, is entitled Believe It or Not: The Challenges Facing One Professional Woman a Half Century Ago. In the media world, she was known as Ms. Real Estate, writing an advice column for the ALM Media Group since 2014.

In 1970, Nina and Claude founded Gruen Gruen + Associates, which continues to provide research-based consulting and implementation services to the real estate industry and public land use and planning policy makers. Ms. Gruen became the first woman trustee of the Urban Land Institute in 1982, and continued to be active in that organization, serving on ULI’s District Council Executive Committee through 2016. In 1984, she became the first woman to be elected President of the academic Western Regional Science Association. An expansion of her presidential address to WRSA, “Sociological and Cultural Variables in Housing” was published in The Annals of Regional Science. Ms. Gruen served on the State of California Transportation Department’s Airspace Advisory Committee for 15 years and was its Chair from 2002 through 2005. She was also an active member of the International Women’s Forum and President of its Northern California affiliate from 1995-1996.

Nina was an extremely knowledgeable and discriminating collector of unofficial Russian art. She was a long-time Board Member of the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, and formerly served as President of the Richmond Art Center in California.

She is survived by her husband Claude, sons Leslie, Dale, Adam, Joshua, and Aaron, daughters-in-law Kate, Debra, Lisa, and Andrea, and grandchildren Daniel, Sarah, David, Michael, Stewart, Rebecca, Leah, Hannah, Jessica, Justin and Kayla.



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