Kaufman purchased the former Paramount Studios site in the 1980s and turned it into the production complex that stands today.
Hal Rosenbluth, president and CEO of Kaufman Astoria Studios, said the move helped revitalize film and television production in New York City.
The transformation of Kaufman Astoria Studios also helped “rejuvenate” the neighborhood, he said. Astoria now contains the first arts district in Queens.
“George was so much more than a real estate developer,” Rosenbluth said. “He understood deep in his bones the importance of investing in New York’s communities because they are the very foundation of the city’s greatness.
“He was a visionary who saw the promise of film and television production work in New York long before it became an integral part of the city’s economy,” he added.
In addition to running the studio, Kaufman was at the helm of his three-generation, family-owned real estate company. The Kaufman Organization owns and manages nearly 50 properties.
In addition to serving on the Real Estate Board of New York, Kaufman was part of the boards of the Whitney Museum, Fashion Institute of Technology and Museum of the Moving Image.
Kaufman was also a Korean War veteran. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and his master’s degree from New York University.
Kaufman is survived by his wife Mariana and daughter Cynthia.