Adolph Schuman

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Adolph P. Schuman (1907–1985) was a prominent San Francisco businessman. He is the founder and president of the Lilli Ann apparel company, and a longtime Democratic Party campaign contributor who had close ties to John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy.

Schuman's father, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant who came to America in the 1880s, was driving a milk truck in San Francisco [1] when the son started a wholesale women's clothing company in 1933 in two rented rooms with an $800 loan.[2] In 1982, Lilli Ann reported retail sales of $40 million.

After World War II, Schuman opened a Lilli Ann show room in Paris, and promoted his line by organizing a “San Francisco to Paris Fashion Show”, with lavish runway productions in both cities which brought him into personal contact with such leading Paris fashion designers as Coco Chanel and Cristóbal Balenciaga.[3] At the same time, Schuman's purchase of huge quantities of European fabrics helped revitalize the war-ravaged French and Italian textile industries in the early 1950s.[4]

A liberal Democrat, Schuman frequently held campaign fund-raising dinners and parties at his Nob Hill home, and was one of the four wealthy San Francisco Jewish political contributors - the others were Cyril Magnin, Benjamin Swig and Walter Shorenstein - who formed what local Democratic politicians appreciatively called "The Green Machine" of the 1960s.


  1. ^ According to a search by historian Richard Harris Smith of 1920 and 1930 Census Records at
  2. ^ This according to the New York Times obituary cited below. In 1953, Time magazine said the loan was $2,000 and dated the company to 1935
  3. ^ Lady Vintage, Who Was Lilli Ann?[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Adolph Schuman Dies at 73; Was Apparel Maker on Coast" The New York Times, October 2, 1985 Census records indicate that Schuman was five years older than stated in this obituary