April 9, 1912|
|Died||January 27, 1986
Corpus Christi, Texas
|Known for||Sculpture, photography|
James Lincoln de la Mothe Borglum (April 9, 1912 – January 27, 1986) was an American sculptor, photographer, author and engineer; he was best known for overseeing the completion of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial after the death in 1941 of the project's leader, his father Gutzon Borglum.
Named after his father's favorite president, Abraham Lincoln, and called by his middle name, Lincoln Borglum was the first child of Gutzon Borglum and his second wife, Mary. During his youth, Lincoln accompanied his father to the Black Hills of South Dakota and was present when the site for the Mt. Rushmore monument was selected. Although he had originally planned to study engineering at the University of Virginia, Lincoln Borglum began work on the monument in 1933 at the age of 21 as an unpaid pointer. Lincoln Borglum quickly moved into a series of more important jobs: he was put on the payroll in 1934, promoted to assistant sculptor in 1937, and promoted to superintendent in 1938 with an annual salary of $4,800.
Gutzon Borglum had nearly completed the 60-foot heads of the four presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and T. Roosevelt) when he died  on March 6, 1941. Lincoln Borglum had to abandon his father's ambitious plans to carry the work down to include the torsos of the presidents and an entablature due to a lack of funding; he left the monument largely in the state of completion it had reached under his father's direction.
Borglum was appointed Mount Rushmore National Memorial's first superintendent and began serving on October 1, 1941. The work on the monument officially stopped on October 31, 1941. He served in that capacity until May 15, 1944.
Borglum continued to work as a sculptor after leaving Mt. Rushmore. He created several religious works for churches in Texas including the well-known shrine Our Lady of Loreto in Goliad, and wrote three books.
Like many men who worked on the Rushmore project, Borglum's lungs were permanently scarred from breathing in granite dust associated with the blasting. Borglum died in Corpus Christi, Texas at the age of 73. One of his best known works, a bust of his father, is on display outside the Lincoln Borglum Visitors Center at Mount Rushmore.
- My Father's Mountain (1965)
- Borglum's Unfinished Dream (Co-written with June Culp Zeitner, 1976)
- Mount Rushmore: The Story Behind the Scenery (1977)
Notes and references
- "People & Events: Lincoln Borglum (1912-1986)". pbs.org. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
- "Gutzon Borglum". FactMonster.com. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
- Famous Masons of the 20th Century