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Nathaniel T. Helman

Nathaniel T. Helman, a former state legislator and State Supreme Court Justice died on Sunday in Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He was 88 and lived in Manhattan.

The cause was cancer, his family said.

Mr. Helman's legal and political career spanned more than 66 years. He began as a lawyer in the Bronx and from 1949 to 1960 was a Democratic State Senator from the Pelham Parkway section of the borough.

He was elected a city Court Judge in 1960. But he resigned in 1961 after he was nominated by the Democratic Judicial Convention in Manhattan for a State Supreme Court Judgeships. In giving him the nomination, the organization overrode the wishes of Mayor Robert F. Wagner, who led a reform wing of Democrats.

Ruled on Strikes and Elections

One of his last major decisions, rendered in 1980, upheld the right of the University Club to exclude women as members.

While on the bench, Mr. Helman ruled on just about every issue to come before the court ranging from teachers' strikes to election law. During the 1980's he wrote a series of articles dealing with drug abuse for The New York Law Journal.

Mr. Helman then practiced law at the firm of Tenzer, Greenblatt, Fallon and Kaplon until shortly before his death. He was also active in the New York County Lawyers Association and the Bronx Bar Association.

He was a past Bronx chairman of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and past President of the Bronx chapter of B'nai B'rith. He also was a past director of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital.

Mr. Helman is survived by his wife, Min; two sons, Howard of Washington, and Stephen of Manhattan, and three grandchildren.