A father of two, corporate lawyer and film buff, Charles McCrann LAW ’72 is still remembered by family, friends and colleagues for his wit, kindness, intellect and humor.
McCrann was a 55-year-old senior vice president at the financial services and insurance firm Marsh & McLennan, and was working in its offices between the 93rd and 100th floors of the north tower of the World Trade Center when he was killed on Sept. 11, 2001.
Nearly 10 years after his death, McCrann’s family and friends said their loss still stings.
“My dad was the closest person in the world to me,” said his daughter, Maxine McCrann. “I guess I would say I have a lot less anger now; I pretty much forgave anybody that I attributed his death to in my own mind. But I miss him just as much.”
McCrann was an experienced and successful legal adviser at Marsh & McLennan, but friends said he was humble about his accomplishments — some of which went far beyond the financial sector and what one might expect of a high-ranking executive in that field.
An ardent movie lover, McCrann took evening film classes at New York University while working for a New York state assemblyman in the late 1970s, said Claude Scales, who knew McCrann since they were both junior lawyers at the law firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae in the early 1970s. McCrann even developed a screenplay he wrote into a feature-length horror film, Scales said.
The movie — which McCrann produced, directed and starred in — played in drive-ins and movie theaters across the country as “Bloodeaters: Butchers of the Damned” and was later released on DVD as “Toxic Zombies.”
The plot hinges on a group of hippies who are growing marijuana in a forest, Scales said. After workers spray their crop with an untested herbicide, the hippies turn into zombies and embark on a bloody rampage.
The film has become a cult classic and was popular abroad, said Scales, who also appeared in the film.
“Charlie was a bit of a rebel in a way,” Scales said. “He was very good at what he did as a corporate lawyer, but he had a funny perspective on things, which I think came out in his movie-making side. It’s like he was torn between being part of the corporate establishment and being an artist.”
Friends said McCrann was devoted to his wife, Michelle, and his children, Derek and Maxine. He sometimes delayed business meetings so that he could walk his daughter to school each day, said colleague Mary Lanning.
Shortly after his death, the McCranns planted a tree in Charles’s memory at a family home in Pennsylvania.