Leo Cherne

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Leo Cherne
Ronald Reagan Leo Cherne and Mrs Cherne 1982.jpg
Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board
In office
March 11, 1976 – May 4, 1977
PresidentGerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Preceded byGeorge Anderson
Succeeded byAnne Armstrong (1981)
Personal details
Born(1912-09-08)September 8, 1912
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJanuary 12, 1999(1999-01-12) (aged 86)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationNew York University (BA)
New York Law School (LLB)

Leo M. Cherne (September 8, 1912, The Bronx, New York – January 12, 1999) was an American economist, public servant, commentator, and an accomplished sculptor. He graduated from New York Law School in 1935. His career spanned more than fifty years.

Early life[edit]

Cherne's father, Max Cherne, was a Romanian-Jewish compositor who emigrated from Bessarabia to New York in 1904.[1]


Cherne, an economist and attorney, was a public policy expert who became a principal co-anchor of ABC-TV's All-Star News, the first hour-long prime time nightly network news broadcast, in the 1952-1953 television season. While not a ratings success against entertainment programs on NBC and CBS, All-Star News is credited as pointing the way toward the format later used by long-form local news broadcasts in cities across America in the 1960s and beyond and by CNN and other national and international cable news networks since 1980.


Mr. Cherne was a gifted sculptor. His bust of Albert Schweitzer was displayed in the Smithsonian. His head of Abraham Lincoln graced the Cabinet Room of the White House, and his portrait sculpture of John F. Kennedy is in the National Portrait Gallery.

Positions held[edit]

Cherne later gained prominence in the private sector as Executive Director of the Research Institute of America, founded to translate complex government legislation for the businessman; Chairman of the Executive Committee of Freedom House, established to advance the struggle for freedom at home and abroad; and Chairman of the International Rescue Committee, formed to assist democratic leaders, scholars, and others to escape fascism, communism, and other forms of totalitarianism. He maintained these positions for the greater part of his career.

Later life[edit]

Cherne also served many presidents, from Franklin Roosevelt to George H. W. Bush, in a variety of capacities, including memberships on the U.S. Select Committee for Western Hemisphere Immigration and the U.S. Advisory Commission on International Educational and Cultural Affairs, as well as his activities on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) and the Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB). He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Cherne may have been the actual source of a popular quotation, often misattributed to Albert Einstein: "The computer is incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Man is incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. The marriage of the two is a force beyond calculation."[2]

In 1989, Cherne received the S. Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.[3]

Rescuing the World: The Life and Times of Leo Cherne, by Andrew F. Smith, is a biography of Cherne.


  1. ^ http://forward.com/news/175061/david-miliband-most-secular-of-jews-trades-british/
  2. ^ "Einstein never said that…". Ben Shoemate. 2008-11-30. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  3. ^ "National - Jefferson Awards Foundation". jeffersonawards.org. Retrieved 28 June 2016.



External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
George Anderson
Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board
Title last held by
Anne Armstrong