Leonard H. Lavin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Leonard Lavin
Born (1919-10-29) October 29, 1919 (age 97)
Chicago, Illinois,
United States
Residence Glencoe, Illinois
Education University of Washington
Occupation Businessman, Racehorse owner/breeder, philanthropist
Known for Founder, Alberto-Culver
Board member of Albert-Culver, Histogen, Inc.
Spouse(s) Bernice E. Weiser (1925–2007)
Children Daughters:
Carol, Karen
Scott J. (1950–1998)
Awards TOBA Florida Breeder of the Year (1994)
Eclipse Award Of Merit (2015)

Leonard H. Lavin (born October 29, 1919 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American businessman, racehorse owner/breeder and philanthropist who in 1955 founded the Alberto-Culver Company.[1] He serves as chairman emeritus of the company and is a director of the international manufacturer/distributor of personal care and household/grocery products. Lavin is also a director of Histogen, a regenerative medicine company based in San Diego, California.[2]

Lavin studied at the University of Washington then served in the US Navy for four years.[3] In 1947 he married Bernice Weiser, who went on to become an executive of Alberto-Culver and played an important part in the company's success.[4] Among their philanthropic activities is the Bernice and Leonard H. Lavin Endowed Scholarship for Inner City Chicagoland Students at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois,[5] the Lavin VentureStart programs in the Entrepreneurial Management Center at San Diego State University,[6] and the Leonard and Bernice Lavin Entrepreneurial Action Program at the University of Washington.[7]

Thoroughbred racing[edit]

Since the 1960s, Lavin has been involved in horse racing. He owns Glen Hill Farm in Ocala, Florida, where he breeds Thoroughbreds.[8] In 1994 he was voted the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's Florida Breeder of the Year award. Among his best-known horses are Relaunch, an outstanding sire whose daughter One Dreamer won the 1994 Breeders' Cup Distaff,[9] In 2015, he was awarded the Eclipse Award Of Merit, a lifetime achievement award.[10]

Lavin is the author of Winners Make It Happen: Reflections of a Self-Made Man.


Leonard H. Lavin was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 1997 in the area of Business and Industry.[11]