John Langeloth Loeb Jr.

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John Langeloth Loeb Jr.
JLL Headshot.jpg
United States Ambassador to Denmark
In office
July 30, 1981 – September 13, 1983
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Warren Demian Manshel
Succeeded by Terence A. Todman
Personal details
Born (1930-05-02) May 2, 1930 (age 88)
Manhattan, New York
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Nina Sundby
Meta Martindell Harrsen
Sharon J. Handler
Children Alexandra Loeb Driscoll (with Sundby)
Nicholas Mears Loeb (with Harrsen)
Parents John Langeloth Loeb Sr.
Frances Lehman Loeb
Alma mater Harvard College,
Harvard Business School

John Langeloth Loeb Jr. (born May 2, 1930) is an American businessman, philanthropist, former United States Ambassador to Denmark, and former Delegate to the United Nations. He is an advocate for religious freedom and separation of church and state, having founded the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom in 2009. Loeb continues to serve as chairman of the George Washington Institute.

Early life and education[edit]

Loeb was born on May 2, 1930 in New York City. His parents were businessman John Langeloth Loeb Sr. (1902–1996) and Frances Lehman (1906–1996). Loeb's father and his paternal grandfather, Carl M. Loeb (1875–1955), were founders of Loeb, Rhoades & Co.. Loeb's mother was a granddaughter of Mayer Lehman (1830–1897), one of the three founders of Lehman Brothers. Loeb is the grandson of Arthur Lehman (Senior Partner at Lehman Brothers and founding president of Lehman Brothers) and Adele Lewisohn Lehman. He is a great-grandson of Adolph Lewisohn and grand-nephew of former New York Governor and U. S. Senator Herbert H. Lehman.[1]

Loeb and his father share the middle name Langeloth in honor of family friend and businessman John Jacob Langeloth (1852–1914).[2]

Loeb is a cum laude graduate of The Harvey School,[3] an independent school in Katonah, New York (1939-1944) and The Hotchkiss School,[4] an independent school in Lakeville, Connecticut (1944-1948). He is a 1952 B.A. cum laude graduate of Harvard College and received his M.B.A. in 1954 from Harvard Business School.[5]

Government and public affairs[edit]

On July 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed Loeb to the post of United States Ambassador to Denmark.[6] He served in this post until September 1983. Upon his return to the United States, he was appointed a delegate to the 38th session of United Nations.[7] He also served as special advisor to Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller on environmental matters (1967–1973) and chairman of New York State Council of Environmental Advisors (1970–1975).[8]

Loeb participated in the United Nations Conference on the Environment (June, 1972) and was Chairman of the Keep New York State Clean Program (1971-1975). He was a Delegate, Republican National Convention (1992); Alternate Delegate, Republican National Conventions (1988 and 1992). He was a member of the Advisory Council, Joint Legislative Committee on Matrimonial and Family Laws, State of New York (1966). Loeb participated in the following World Bank and International Fund Meetings: Tokyo (1964); Washington, DC (1965, 1966); Rio de Janeiro (1967); and Washington, DC (1968, 1969).[1]

Organization memberships[edit]

He is a trustee of the American-Scandinavian Foundation[9] and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States (see Churchill Scholarship).[10] He was a trustee of the Montefiore Medical Center and serves on the Board of Advisors of the Department of Ophthalmology at Columbia University Medical Center.[11]

George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom[edit]

Loeb founded the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom (GWIRF) in 2009 with the goal of raising people' awareness about the roots of religious freedom and the separation of church and state in the United States and the importance of these principles.[12] Loeb serves as GWIRF's chairman.

Loeb Visitors Center[edit]

Loeb financed the creation of the Loeb Visitors Center on the campus of the Touro Synagogue National Historic Site in Newport, Rhode Island.[13]

Loeb Institute[edit]

In 2016, Loeb, through the John L. Loeb Jr. Foundation and the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom, donated $2.5 million to establish the John L. Loeb Jr. Institute for Religious Freedom at George Washington University.[14] The institute operates within the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.[15]

Awards and honors[edit]

Upon leaving his ambassadorial post in 1983, Margrethe II of Denmark awarded him the Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog.[16] She also bestowed a Danish crest and coat-of-arms.

In 2010, he was invited to deliver the Herbert H. Lehman Memorial Lecture at Lehman College CUNY.[17] He was the first direct relative of Herbert H. Lehman to receive the honor.[18] His lecture, Beyond Tolerance,[18] was an exploration of the history and contemporary relevance of George Washington's 1790 "Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport Rhode Island." He also has an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Georgetown University Law School (1980) and was Person of the Year in 2005 at the Danish American Society.[19][20]

Personal life[edit]

Loeb has been married three times.[21] In 1960, he married his first wife, Nina Sundby, a Swede,[22] with whom he has a daughter, Alexandra Loeb Driscoll.[21] His second wife was Meta Martindell Harrsen with whom he has a son, Nicholas Mears Loeb. In 2012, Loeb married his third wife, Sharon J. Handler.[21]


  1. ^ a b Pace, Eric (9 December 1996). "John L. Loeb Sr. Dies at 94; Investor and Philanthropist". The New York Times.
  2. ^ An American Experience, Adeline Moses Loeb and Her Early American Jewish Ancestors. Contributors John L. Loeb Jr., Kathy L. Plotkin, Margaret Loeb Kempner, Judith E. Endelman, and David M. Kleiman with an introduction by Eli N. Evans. (New York: Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, 2009). See also Langeloth, Pennsylvania.
  3. ^ "The Harvey School: Alumni Hall of Fame".
  4. ^ "Alumni Accomplishments - The Hotchkiss School".
  5. ^ "Loeb House - About Us - Harvard Business School".
  6. ^ "Ronald Reagan: Nomination of John Langeloth Loeb, Jr., To Be United States Ambassador to Denmark".
  7. ^ "Reagan Appoints 10 As Delegates to U.N." The New York Times. 22 September 1983.
  8. ^ "Nominations & Appointments, June 10, 1983".
  9. ^ "Board and Trustees - The American-Scandinavian Foundation". The American-Scandinavian Foundation.
  10. ^ "Winston Churchill Foundation of the USA".
  11. ^ "Viewpoint" (PDF). Columbia University Medical Center. p. 3.
  12. ^ Gross, Rachel Beth (September 2014). "'Feel the History at Your Feet': Historic Synagogues as Heritage Sites". Objects of Affection: The Material Religion of American Jewish Nostalgia (Ph.D. thesis). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University. p. 118. Document No.3642087 – via ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.
  13. ^ "Loeb Visitor's Center at Touro Synagogue". Northeast Collaborative Architects.
  14. ^ "Institute for Religious Freedom Will Move Education Programs to GW". 17 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Loeb Institute The George Washington University".
  16. ^ "U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Is Decorated by Government", New York Times, September 13, 1983.
  17. ^ "Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr. to Deliver 41st Annual Herbert H. Lehman Memorial Lecture at Lehman College on March 25 – CUNY Newswire".
  18. ^ a b Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. "Beyond Tolerance". Lehman Today. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
  19. ^ "Danish American Society". Archived from the original on August 2, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
  20. ^ American Legacy Manhattan Society Report.
  21. ^ a b c Loeb website: Family retrieved July 16, 2013
  22. ^ Canadian Jewish Review: Social Notes - Montreal May 13, 1960

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Warren Demian Manshel
U.S. Ambassador to Denmark
Succeeded by
Terence Todman