Moshe Schnitzer, a founder of the Israeli diamond industry, passed away Thursday night. He was 86.

Schnitzer is considered the person who most influenced the industry and who shaped the business into the international giant it became. He was president of the Israel Diamond Exchange from 1967 to 1993.

Schnitzer was born in Romania in 1921, and immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1934.

He entered the diamond industry at the age of 21, and five years later helped found what would later become the Israel Diamond Exchange.

Schnitzer also served as president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. He received the Israel Prize in 2004 for his life's work and contribution to Israeli society.

He is survived by a son and two daughters.