Rabinowitz was a native of Hazelton, Pa. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Temple University.
Former chairman of the trusts and estates department at Blank Rome, Rabinowitz was "a consummate lawyer," said Bernard Glassman, longtime friend and colleague, and also a partner at the firm.
"He was acknowledged as one of the top estate lawyers in the country. Sam was a leader who left his mark on everyone, encouraging others to live up to their potential in our firm, in the world of law and in his philanthropic endeavors.
"There was nothing shy about him," continued Glassman. "He said what he needed to say. Also, Sam was more interested in his clients' welfare than he was in money. He was a professional, not a businessman."
Rabinowitz was elected to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He served as chair of the Tax and Estate section of the Philadelphia Bar Association. He developed and taught courses on his specialty for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's continuing legal-education program.
In 2006, Philadelphia magazine named him one of the area's top lawyers.
Glassman also noted that Rabinowitz was first and foremost "a family man. He was passionately in love with them."
Rabinowitz was married to Barbara (nee Cohen) for 51 years. The couple has three sons. They met while working as counselors at a summer camp in the Poconos.
"He was a wonderful, loving husband, father and grandfather," said Barbara Rabinowitz. "Even though he had a heavy work schedule and was so involved in various charities, he always spent time with the boys and coached their sports teams. We spent many years with the kids vacationing at the Village of the Four Seasons in Uniondale, Pa.
As for his grandchildren, Barbara Rabinowitz said her husband "reveled in whatever they did and loved them unconditionally."
She also spoke of her husband as a man "who expressed love to others even before it was fashionable. Our home was always open to our sons' friends, and many have told me that he made a big difference in their lives."
In his philanthropic work, Sam Rabinowitz made a difference worldwide, such as to the kids at Boys Town Jerusalem, serving as president of the Philadelphia Friends of Boys Town, which in the past honored him at a tribute dinner. He was also active with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Locally, he was pro bono counsel to Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel; and served on the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and with the Federation Endowments Corporation. He was also a president of the Jewish Community Centers, president of the JCCs of Greater Philadelphia and served as an honorary chair. In addition, he sat on the board of the Albert Einstein Medical Center, was president of the Einstein Society and was a vice president of the Jewish National Fund.
Rabinowitz was a member of Temple Beth Hillel/Beth El in Wynnewood.
In 2004, Green Valley Country Club, where he had enjoyed golf and friendship for many years, honored Rabinowitz with its Community Award "for his exemplary commitment to people in need, both through charitable giving and personal effort of time spent working toward their well-being."
In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons Dr. Fredric Rabinowitz, Mark Rabinowitz and Dr. Joshua Rabinowitz, as well as seven grandchildren.