Benjamin Buttenwieser

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Benjamin Buttenwieser
Benjamin Joseph Buttenwieser

(1900-10-22)October 22, 1900
DiedDecember 31, 1991(1991-12-31) (aged 91)
New York City, U.S.
Other namesBenjamin J. Buttenwieser
Alma materColumbia College
EmployerKuhn, Loeb & Co.
Helen Lehman (m. 1929)
ChildrenLawrence B. Buttenwieser
Peter L. Buttenwieser
Paul A. Buttenwieser
Parent(s)Joseph L. Buttenwieser, Caroline Weil
FamilyArthur Lehman (father-in-law)

Benjamin Joseph Buttenwieser (October 22, 1900 – December 31, 1991) was an American banker, philanthropist and civic leader in New York.[1][2]


Buttenwieser was born to a Jewish family. His father was Joseph L. Buttenwieser. He had an older brother, Lawrence B. Buttenwieser. His family were "our crowd," the top 100 German-Jewish families of New York City.[1][2][3]

He entered Columbia College at age 15 and graduated in 1919.[1]


In 1919, Buttenwieser joined the Kuhn, Loeb & Co. banking house. By 1932, Buttenwieser had become a general partner of there until 1949. From 1952, he was a limited partner until 1977, when Kuhn, Loeb & Co. merged with Lehman Brothers.[1]

From 1949 to 1951 he was Assistant U.S. High Commissioner for Germany.[1]

He was also director of many companies, including Revlon; Benrus Watch; Tischman Realty and others.[1]

In 1938, he began a two-year term as president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York (now United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, like his father (1920s) and brother (1970s). He also served on the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee. He was a trustee of Lenox Hill Hospital and the New York Philharmonic. He was a governor of the Investment Bankers Association.[1][2]


  • 1967: Alexander Hamilton Medal (Columbia College, Association of Alumni)[1]
  • 1976: Honorary Doctorate (Columbia University)[1]


The Buttenwieser Professorship at Columbia University was established in 1958 with a gift to the University from Buttenwieser, a longtime University Trustee and clerk of the Trustees, in honor of his father, Joseph.[1]

Personal and death[edit]

In 1929, Buttenwieser married Helen Lehman, the daughter of Arthur Lehman, then senior partner at Lehman Brothers. (She was one of the first women admitted to the City Bar Association of New York and in 1979, became the first chairwoman of the Legal Aid Society.) They had three sons: Lawrence B. Buttenwieser, Peter L. Buttenwieser, and Paul A. Buttenwieser.[1][3]

As Helen L. Buttenwieser, she was an attorney for Alger Hiss. Their activism landed him on the master list of Nixon political opponents.[3]

He died age 91 of a heart attack on December 31, 1991, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Pace, Eric (1 January 1992). "Benjamin J. Buttenwieser, Investment Banker, 91". New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Chandler, Doug (18 May 2007). "90 Years Of Shaping New York Jewry". Jewish Week.
  3. ^ a b c Anderson, Susan Heller (23 November 1989). "Helen Buttenwieser, 84, Lawyer and Civic Leader". New York Times. Retrieved 21 August 2017.

External sources[edit]