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Henry Morgenthau III

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Henry Morgenthau III
Morgenthau in 2005
Born(1917-01-11)January 11, 1917
DiedJuly 10, 2018(2018-07-10) (aged 101)
EducationPrinceton University
Occupation(s)Author and television producer
(m. 1962; died 2006)
Children3, including Kramer

Henry Morgenthau III (January 11, 1917 – July 10, 2018) was an American author and television producer, and scion of the Morgenthau dynasty and member of the Lehman family.



Henry Morgenthau III was the son of Elinor (née Fatman), granddaughter of Mayer Lehman, a co-founder of Lehman Brothers[1] and Henry Morgenthau Jr., who was Franklin D. Roosevelt's U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.[2] He was born into an ethnically Jewish family. He was a grandson of US Ambassador Henry Morgenthau Sr. and grandnephew[3] of New York Governor and Senator Herbert H. Lehman.[4] He was the brother of former New York County District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau,[5] as well as of Joan Elizabeth Morgenthau Hirschhorn (October 9, 1922 – October 1, 2012),[6] who was professor of clinical pediatrics and preventive medicine and the associate dean for student affairs at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.[7] A cousin was the American historian Barbara Tuchman.[8]

Early years


He graduated from Deerfield Academy in 1935 and Princeton University in 1939. During his time at university, he ran on the cross country team, worked on Theatre Intime, and was an editorial-board member of the Daily Princetonian. Despite his family's social stature, Morgenthau was frozen out of bicker (excluded from Eating club membership) as a sophomore in 1937, along with four of the other 11 Jewish students in the class.[9] During World War II, Morgenthau served in the US Army. From 1945, he was involved in the television business, at various times working as an author, producer and manager for the larger national institutions like NBC, CBS and ABC, while serving as President of Gannaway-Morgenthau Productions, Inc.[citation needed] From 1955-77, Morgenthau was a chief producer of WGBH (Boston).[10]

His shows at WGBH won Peabody, Emmy, United Press International, Educational Film Library Association, and Flaherty Film Festival[11] awards. He also served as acting program manager at WYNC.[12] Morgenthau served as a vice president of the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. He also was a manager of the Morse Communication Center[13] at Brandeis University.

Morgenthau III was producer of Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt (1959),[14] The Negro and the American Promise (1963),[citation needed] and Conversation[15] with Svetlana Alliluyeva (daughter of Stalin) (1967). He was a contributor to Screamers (2006 film) and story editor of A Tale of Two Christmases (December 21, 1952).



He wrote Mostly Morgenthaus: A Family History[16] (1991), focused on several patriarchs: The first Morgenthau of record, Moses (1773–1834), impoverished teacher of Hebrew from Gleusdorf in Bavaria, who later became a ritual slaughterer married to a rabbi’s daughter, was required to take a family name when the Jews of Bavaria were granted citizenship in 1813.[17] Waiting in line at city hall in the predawn, he looked at the damp ground and decided to call himself Morgen Tau ("morning dew'' in German).[18][19] His and Brunhilda Morgenthau's son, Lazarus[20] (1815–1897) was making nicotine-free cigars, candy from pine needles, tongue scrapers, and gum-label machines. Married in 1843 to Seline Babette Guggenheim, he moved to Mannheim and opened a cigar manufactory, a business that grew rapidly when his brother Max (also called Mengo) wrote from California in 1849 suggesting he ship his cigars to the American market. Lazarus's success had been extraordinary, but the luck that had followed him could not prevent the business failure that followed the rise of protective tariffs in the United States when war broke out there in 1861. Financially overextended, Lazarus moved to New York in 1866, where his fortunes plummeted further.[citation needed] Lazarus's ninth child, Henry Sr. (1856–1946), saw his mission as restoring the family to its rightful position.[21] As Wilson's ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) during the crucial years before and during World War I, he supported the Jews in Palestine and heroically rescued Armenians persecuted by the Turks. Henry Jr. (1891–1967)[22] was a close friend of both Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt,[23] FDR's Secretary of the Treasury and leader of U.S. efforts on behalf of Holocaust survivors.[24] In his book Henry Morgenthau III casts doubt on the alleged Communist associations of his father's Treasury aide Harry Dexter White, whom Whitaker Chambers accused of being a Soviet spy and conspirator.[citation needed]

In 2016, at the age of 99, Morgenthau III published his first book of poetry entitled "A Sunday in Purgatory."



On May 9, 2015, at Marriott Marques Hotel[25] in Washington, D.C., during the National Commemoration of the Armenian genocide Centennial Reception And Award Banquet, Catholicos Karekin II presented an award to Henry Morgenthau III.[26]

Personal life and death


Henry Morgenthau III was an observant Jew who rediscovered his religion after his marriage to Ruth S. Morgenthau in 1962. Ruth died in 2006. They had three children together: Henry (Ben) Morgenthau (born 1964), cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau (born 1966) and Sarah Elinor Morgenthau Wessel (born 1963).[27][28][29] Morgenthau turned 100 on January 11, 2017.[30] He celebrated the occasion in Washington, D.C., with 35 relatives and friends.[31] He had six grandchildren: Edward, Henry, and Mizia Wessel; Osias and Mizia Morgenthau; Henry Morgenthau V.[32] Henry Morgenthau III died on July 10, 2018, at the age of 101.[33]


  1. ^ New York Times: "Joan Morgenthau Hirschhorn" October 7, 2012
  2. ^ "Henry Morgenthau III". Goodreads. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  3. ^ Kestenbaum, Lawrence. "The Political Graveyard: Morgenthau-Lehman family of New York". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  4. ^ "Lehmans To Celebrate Rich Family History - The New York Sun". The New York Sun. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  5. ^ Franks, Lucinda (August 19, 2014). Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me (1st ed.). Sarah Crichton Books. ISBN 9780374280802.
  6. ^ "Joan Morgenthau Hirschhorn's Obituary on". GreenwichTime. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  7. ^ "Alumni". 7 May 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  8. ^ Pace, Eric (February 7, 1989). "Barbara Tuchman Dead at 77; A Pulitzer-Winning Historian". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  9. ^ "Rally 'Round the Cannon: The Not Chosen People, Part 1". princeton.edu. March 29, 2016.
  10. ^ "Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections Department, Brandeis University". lts.brandeis.edu. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  11. ^ "The Flaherty". The Flaherty.
  12. ^ Starr, Jerold M. (August 2001). Air Wars: The Fight to Reclaim Public Broadcasting. Philadelphia: Temple University. ISBN 9781566399135.
  13. ^ "Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections | LTS | Brandeis University". Library & Technology Services of Brandeis University. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  14. ^ "Henry Morgenthau III Papers Relating to the Television Series "Eleanor Roosevelt: Prospects of Mankind", 1959-1962". Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  15. ^ ""NET Journal" A Conversation with Svetlana Alliluyeva (TV Episode 1967)". imdb.com. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  16. ^ Morgenthau, Henry (January 5, 1991). Mostly Morgenthaus: A Family History. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 9780899199764 – via Internet Archive.
  17. ^ "Morgenthau Family Tree" (PDF). Museum of Jewish Heritage. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 20, 2015. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  18. ^ "Tal Shahar (TAL ShaChar)". Jewish Virtual Library.
  19. ^ "Henry Morgenthau Jr". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  20. ^ "The Henry Morgenthaus, I, II and III (and Henry's father Lazarus)". Arthur Thinks (He Thinks). 3 February 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  21. ^ "The Morgenthaus: A Legacy of Service". Museum of Jewish Heritage. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  22. ^ "Henry Morgenthau Jr. profile". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  23. ^ "Henry Morgenthau, Jr. (1891- 1967)". gwu.edu. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  24. ^ Morgenthau, Henry (September 17, 1991). Mostly Morgenthaus: A Family History (First ed.). New York: Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 9780899199764.
  25. ^ "Marriott Marquis Washington, DC". Marriott.
  26. ^ "His Holiness Karekin II presents an award to Henry Morgenthau III during the NCAGC Reception And Award Banquet at Marriott Marques Hotel on May 9, 2015 in Washington DC". Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  27. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (November 12, 2006). "Ruth S. Morgenthau, 75, an Adviser to Carter, Is Dead". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  28. ^ Morgenthau Family Tree Archived 2015-12-20 at the Wayback Machine retrieved October 3, 2015
  29. ^ New York Times: "WEDDINGS; Carlton Wessel, Sarah Morgenthau" September 6, 1993
  30. ^ "A Century-Old Poet Looks Back — And Fearlessly Forward — In 'Purgatory'". NPR.org.
  31. ^ Staff (January 13, 2017). "Former Executive Producer Henry Morgenthau Releases New Book". wgbhalumni.org. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  32. ^ "HENRY MORGENTHAU III Obituary (2018) the Washington Post". Legacy.com.
  33. ^ Henry Morgenthau III, Grandson of Ambassador Morgenthau Passes Away at 101