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WTC Pioneer Guy Tozzoli, 90, dies

Archive photo of the 110-story twin skyscrapers. (Photo by Fernando Zaccaria) Archive photo of the 110-story twin skyscrapers. (Photo by Fernando Zaccaria)

Guy Tozzoli, who oversaw the design and construction of the original World Trade Center as the Port Authority director, has died. He was 90.

Tozzoli died Sunday, days before his 91st birthday on February 12, according to the World Trade Centers Association, which Tozzoli molded into an international brand with more than 300 members worldwide. 

“Guy leaves behind the powerful legacy of having built the WTCA into a global presence in nearly 100 countries since he founded it in 1970. More importantly, his vision of prosperity through trade and investment lives on. We remain committed in our pursuit of this vision," said Eric R. Dahl, the CEO of the trade centers association.

A native of North Bergen, N.J., Tozzoli, an engineer, joined the Port Authority in 1946 and managed construction projects at the agency’s Newark airport and marine terminals, according to The Bergen Record.

He was put in charge of the World Trade Center project in 1962. He described the twin 110-story skyscrapers as a “landmark that will attract “80,000 visitors daily” in a 1960s interview with The Record.

The newspaper reported that on 2001 Tozzoli witnessed the two towers collapse, while he was mired in traffic at the Holland Tunnel plaza in Jersey City.

In addition to overseeing the Twin Towers, he founded and grew the World Trade Centers Association as its first and only president until retiring in 2011.

Tozzoli visited with staff of the 9/11 Memorial in early 2011 and looked back on his prominent career.  He also recorded an oral history on the early days of the World Trade Center.

By Anthony Guido, Communications Manager for the 9/11 Memorial