Albert Boscov, who opened a department store in downtown Binghamton in 1984, has died. He was 87.

Boscov was the chairman of the family-owned department store chain based in Pennsylvania.

Boscov died Friday at his home in Reading. His death was announced by his nephew, Jim Boscov, who is the company's chief executive officer. He died days after he informed employees that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The Boscov's store at Court and Water streets on January 10, 2017. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Al Boscov's decision to renovate the former Fowler's department store building at Court and Water streets followed an aggressive and persistent campaign by Mayor Juanita Crabb.

The opening of the Boscov's store drew a crowd of several thousand people downtown on a Monday morning in August 1984.

In a 2014 radio interview on the store's 30th anniversary, Boscov said "Binghamton has been very good to us."

Although most of his company's stores were located in malls, Boscov continued to express optimism and support for downtown Binghamton. He said he was encouraged by the growing presence of Binghamton University students downtown.

In a 2013 WNBF News interview, Boscov said "Binghamton will have a bright future."

The August 2014 Binghamton Now interview with Albert Boscov will be aired on the program Monday morning at 9:30.

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