"Mark Leventhal," as we at New Times noted in 2008, "helped make SoBe happen."
And even over the past year, the 36-year club veteran has continued to keep the beat at local nightspots, restaurants, and private parties.
But sadly, Leventhal fell "gravely ill" last week, according to his sister Amy, with "an infection that is affecting his body and his brain."
He is hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Jackson North Medical Center.
Born in Boston, Leventhal began DJing in 1978 before relocating to New Jersey, New York, and finally, Miami, where he became known for residencies at essential '90s South Beach bashes like Hercules, Home Cookin', and Fat Black Pussycat before moving on to clubs like Crobar and Amika in the 2000s.
In Miami's celebrity heyday of the '90s, he also snagged coveted gigs, such as opening for Prince, spinning at Madonna's house for New Year's Eve, and manning the decks during a Christmas party at Sylvester Stallone's mansion.
Ultimately, though, Leventhal simply described himself as a "dad, workaholic, [and] nice guy," as he once told South Beach Magazine.
So it was no surprise that family and friends rallied around the humble, dedicated father of three and lifelong DJ when he was stricken on Wednesday with back pain and fatigue that turned out to be something much worse -- a full-body infection that's spread to his brain and left him unconscious in the hospital.
Over the last week, support and well wishes flooded Leventhal's Facebook page, from his eldest son Alec, his siblings, his friends, his fans, and even fellow Miami DJs like Tom Laroc.
But because Leventhal has no health insurance, his sister Amy has also launched a YouCaring.com campaign to raise funds to pay for his medical bills and benefit his family.
And tomorrow night, all of his supporters will show their love for Mark Leventhal with a fundraiser at Lincoln Road's Haven Lounge.
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As his sister, family, friends, fans, and fellow DJs ask, "Keep the love coming."
Mark Leventhal Fundraiser. With DJ sets from 11 friends and supporters. Tuesday, January 28. Haven, 1237 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. The event begins at 7 p.m. and it will feature a silent auction. A minimum donation of $25 to the fund for Mark Leventhal is requested. Visit the Mark Leventhal Fund on YouCaring.org.