Herbert H. Lehman
|Herbert H. Lehman|
|United States Senator
from New York
January 3, 1950 – January 3, 1957
|Preceded by||John Foster Dulles|
|Succeeded by||Jacob K. Javits|
|45th Governor of New York|
January 1, 1933 – December 3, 1942
|Lieutenant||M. William Bray (1933-1938)
|Preceded by||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Succeeded by||Charles Poletti|
|Lieutenant Governor of New York|
January 1, 1929 – December 31, 1932
|Governor||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Preceded by||Edwin Corning|
|Succeeded by||M. William Bray|
|1st Director General of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration|
|Succeeded by||Fiorello H. La Guardia|
|Born||Herbert Henry Lehman
March 28, 1878
New York City, New York
|Died||December 5, 1963
New York City, New York
|Spouse(s)||Edith Louise Altschul|
Herbert Henry Lehman (March 28, 1878 – December 5, 1963) was a Democratic Party politician from New York. He was the 45th Governor of New York from 1933 to 1942, and represented New York in the United States Senate from 1950 to 1957.
Herbert H. Lehman was born in New York City on March 28, 1878. Herbert's father arrived from Germany in 1848, settling in Montgomery, Alabama, where he engaged in business. He eventually moved to New York City after the Civil War.
Lehman attended Sachs Collegiate Institute in New York City, and after graduating in 1895, he continued his studies at Williams College, where he graduated with a degree of B.A. in 1899. After college, Lehman started to work in the textile manufacturing, eventually becoming vice-president and treasurer of the J. Spencer Turner Company in Brooklyn. In 1908 he became a partner in the investment banking firm of Lehman Brothers of New York City. In 1928 he had withdrawn entirely from business when he entered the public service.
On April 28, 1910, Lehman married Edith Altschul of San Francisco. They had three children, Peter, John and Hilda Jane. They resided at the time at 820 Park Avenue, in New York City.
His daughter, Hilda Jane, eloped to Maryland and married Boris De Vadetzky, of French Russian descent, in 1940 when she was 19 years old. After five years, they divorced in 1945.
Lehman, born in New York City in 1878, was the son of Reform Jews, Babetta (Newgass) and German-born immigrant Mayer Lehman, one of the three founders of the Lehman Brothers investment banking firm. Lehman attended The Sachs School, founded by Julius Sachs. A graduate of Williams College (Class of 1899), he became a partner of Lehman Brothers with his brother Arthur and cousin Philip in 1908.
Military and family
The couple had three children, Hilda, Peter, and John. All three served in the United States Military during World War II; Peter was killed while on active duty. According to a group history published April 6, 1944, the governor's son was to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The medal was set to be awarded to Peter on his father's 70th birthday.
Lehman became active in politics in 1920, and became Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Democratic Party in 1928, as a reward for being a strong supporter of Alfred E. Smith. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1928 and 1930, and resigned from Lehman Brothers upon taking office. He then served four terms as Governor of New York from 1933 and 1942, elected in 1932, 1934, 1936 and 1938. Unlike Smith, Lehman was a supporter of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal policies and implemented a program in the same spirit in New York.
On December 3, 1942, he resigned the governorship less than a month before the end of his term to accept an appointment as Director of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations for the United States Department of State. He served as Director-General of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration from 1943 to 1946.
Lehman was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New York in 1946 and also ran on the Liberal and American Labor tickets, but was defeated by the Republican candidate Irving Ives. In 1949, he ran again, this time in a special election to serve the remainder of Robert F. Wagner's term. Lehman defeated John Foster Dulles, who had been appointed to fill the vacancy temporarily after Wagner's resignation, and took his seat on January 3, 1950. In this campaign he ran on the Democratic and Liberal tickets, with the American Labor Party urging their members not to vote for any candidate. In 1950, he was re-elected to a full term running on the Democratic and Liberal lines and opposed by the American Labor Party.
Lehman was one of two senators who were opposed to nominating Mississippi Senator James O. Eastland to be Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. (The other was Wayne L. Morse of Oregon.) He was also an early and vocal opponent of Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.). Lehman was one of the most liberal Senators and not considered part of the Senate "club" of insiders. He retired from the Senate after his full term, and was not a candidate for renomination or reelection in 1956.
After his retirement from the Senate, Lehman remained politically active, working with Eleanor Roosevelt and Thomas K. Finletter in the late 1950s and early 1960s to support the reform Democratic movement in Manhattan that eventually defeated longtime Tammany Hall boss Carmine DeSapio.
He founded the Lehman Children's Zoo (now the Tisch Zoo) in Central Park, which declared that "No Adult Will Be Admitted unless Accompanied by a Child."
Lehman was the first, and until the 2007 inauguration of Eliot Spitzer, the only Jewish Governor of New York. During much of his Senate career, he was the only Jewish senator as well. Unlike most of his Jewish constituents, who came from Eastern Europe, Lehman's family was from Germany.
Final years and death
Lehman spent much of the last two years of his life in his New York City home. He celebrated his 85th birthday in March 1963 but by this time he was suffering from serious health problems.
- Lehman died in 1963 and was interred in the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. That same year, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- Lehman College of the City University of New York is named after him; a bust of Lehman, by sculptor John Belardo, was dedicated there in September 2005. The High School of American Studies at Lehman College is located on the campus. College dormitories are named in his honor at Williams College, the University at Buffalo, and at Binghamton University.
- A ship on the Staten Island Ferry, The Governor Herbert H. Lehman, is named for him. She was retired in 2007 after 42 years of service and has been sold for scrap.
- There is a Herbert H. Lehman Center for American History at Columbia University. His papers were donated to the Columbia University Libraries and are housed in the social sciences library – which is also named in his honor. In addition, Columbia has a Herbert Lehman Professorship of government, which is currently held by Mahmood Mamdani. Columbia's sister school, Barnard College, has a building named in Lehman's honor; it houses Barnard's library and some social sciences departments. Williams College, his alma mater, named a dormitory after him in 1928.
- Lehman High School located on Westchester Square in The Bronx, New York (est. 1974) is also named in his honor.
- In 1974, Lehman was inducted into the Jewish-American Hall of Fame.
- Moshav Liman in northern Israel is named after him.
- Lehman's quote, "It is immigrants who brought this land the skills of their hands and brains to make of it a beacon of opportunity and hope for all men." is inscribed on the extended-pages version of the American Passport on page 45.
- "Biography Notes"
- "Life and Legacy of Herbert H. Lehman". Lehman Suite.
- HQ 4th Fighter Group, AAD STA F-356, AF HISTORICAL ARCHIVES
- The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers. "Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site: Herbert Lehman (1928–1956)". Teaching Eleanor Roosevelt. Retrieved 2005-11-07.
- Congress History, 81st U.S. Congress
- "Lehman, Herbert Henry, (1878–1963)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2005-11-09.
- Moss, Mitchell (1994-02-04). "The Vanishing Jew". Forward. Retrieved 2005-11-07.
- Kensico.org (Kensico Cemetery). "Historic & Scenic Tour: Herbert H. Lehman". Retrieved 2005-11-07.
- Office of Media Relations & Publications of Lehman College (2005-09-26). "Remembering the Legacy of Herbert H. Lehman". Lehman E-News. Retrieved 2005-11-05.
- Gerber, David Paul and Wayne Whitehorne (December 2004). "Staten Island Ferry". Station Reporter. Retrieved 2005-11-07.
- The Herbert H. Lehman Center for American History at Columbia University, with pictures of Lehman.
- Lehman Special Correspondence Files Website at Columbia University Libraries.
- Lehman's opening speech at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City, on The History Channel's Speech Archive
- A film clip "Longines Chronoscope with Herbert H. Lehman" is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- A film clip "Longines Chronoscope with Sen. Herbert H. Lehman (April 16, 1952)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
|Lieutenant Governor of New York
M. William Bray
Franklin D. Roosevelt
|Governor of New York
|Non-profit organization positions|
None; first in line
|Director General of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
Fiorello H. La Guardia
|Party political offices|
James M. Mead
|Democratic Nominee for U.S. Senate from New York (Class 1)
|United States Senate|
John Foster Dulles
|United States Senator (Class 3) from New York
Served alongside: Irving Ives
Jacob K. Javits