Copyright attorney spent 49 years at rights group.

Theodora Zavin, a copyright attorney who worked for 49 years at BMI, died Monday (June 21) at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital afer a brief illness. She was 82.

Zavin joined BMI in 1952 as head of its legal department, rising to senior VP/special counsel before her retirement in 2001. She founded the BMI Foundation in 1985 and served as its president until her retirement and president emeritus until her death.

BMI says Zavin will be remembered for combining her legal skills with a personal touch when dealing with songwriters, composers and music publishers. She worked closely with Simon & Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Don Kirschner, Dick James and many others.

Zavin is survived by two sons and three granddaughters. A memorial is being planned.