New Georgia Sen. Ossoff Has Haverhill Family Ties and Wealth Traced to Area Leather Industry

Jon Ossoff, Democrat from Georgia, (Campaign photograph.)

One of Georgia’s two new senators, Thomas Jonathan “Jon” Ossoff not only has Haverhill family ties, but a connection to the city’s storied shoe industry and wealth emanating from the area’s leather enterprises.

The 33-year-old made history last Wednesday when he delivered the U.S. Senate into Democratic hands, but his victory was largely overshadowed by the insurrection that day at the Capitol in Washington.

Ossoff’s great aunt, Eve Kladky Ossoff, was born in Haverhill, daughter of Israel and Sarah Kladky who founded I. Kladky Leather Co. in 1918. The company operated from 98 Phoenix Row, 35 Railroad Square and other Haverhill locations over the years. During the 1940s, the family resided on Monument Street.

Eve’s older sister, Henrietta (Kladky) Becker, joined the company in 1950 and remained until it was dissolved in June 1987—four months after Jon Ossoff’s birth. Becker died in 2005—two years after Eve.

Michael Ossoff.

Eve, however, continued to be associated with leather companies, marrying Michael Ossoff on May 14, 1941. He started Ossoff Leather Company in 1947 with his brother Hyman—Jon’s grandfather. The business continued until the 1990s and went on to become the source of the senator’s wealth. The Ossoff brothers later established United Tanners of Dover, N.H., and Suncook Tanning Corporation of Pittsfield, N.H.

Hyman passed away in 2008, leaving an undisclosed amount of money to Jon. According to the Washington Post, “Ossoff has declined to say how much he inherited, and he has not released his tax returns.” The news organization, however, notes, the financial disclosure he filed as a Senate candidate reveals a net worth of between $2.3 million and $8.8 million.

How did Jon come to be born in Atlanta? One son of Hyman and Blanche Ossoff is Richard who was raised in Marblehead. Richard owns Atlanta-based Strafford Publications, which creates training materials for lawyers and accountants. He married Heather Fenton, who was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, before moving to the U.S. at age 23 and settling in Atlanta. The new senator’s wife is 30-year-old Alisha Kramer, who was born and raised in Atlanta.

Ossoff becomes the only member of the Senate under age 40.

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