Lois Rosenthal

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Lois Rosenthal (1938/1939 – July 20, 2014)[1] was an American publisher and arts patron in Cincinnati, Ohio. She served on the boards of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Freestore Foodbank, Art Links, Cincinnati Museum Center, and the Mercantile Library of Cincinnati.

She is known for her hands-on philosophy of service in her community and has been named Enquirer Woman of the Year in 1999 by The Cincinnati Enquirer.[2]

Major Philanthropy[edit]

She and her husband, Richard H. Rosenthal established The Rosenthal Foundation and through it donated $5 million for the $35.7M Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), built in downtown Cincinnati.[2] Designed by celebrated architect Zaha Hadid the center has become a mecca for emerging artists and patrons in the mid-west. In recognition for their contribution and deep involvement in its creation, the center was named The Lois and Richard Rosenthal CAC.

The Rosenthal Foundation made a $2.15 million grant to the Cincinnati Art Museum to make admission to the Eden Park art museum permanently free to all.

The foundation also made a $300,000 gift to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to sponsor the Eternal Flame of Freedom at the center, which graces the Cincinnati riverfront.

Together with her husband, Lois co-founded the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice (RIJ), based at the University of Cincinnati School of Law, to "harness the idealism, energy and intellect of law students, turning those qualities into a vehicle for positive social and legal change in Cincinnati, the state of Ohio, and beyond."[3]

The couple also founded Uptown Arts, an Over-the-Rhine arts academy that offers free lessons to 300 inner-city children each year in such disciplines as art, music and dance.[2] Uptown arts is housed in a restored three-story, 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) Liberty Street building that also houses The Rosenthal Foundation.

Lois launched the Rosey Reader Program, which distributes free books to inner-city schools.

With her husband, she co-founded the Rosenthal Next Generation Theater Series at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park which introduces children to plays.

Her work at the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank enables distribution of fresh foods to the needy.

In their effort to fund emerging artists, she and her husband sponsored a ballet called "Blue Until June" that was choreographed to the music of Etta James.

Early Philanthropy[edit]

In 1988 Lois and Richard Rosenthal established the New Play Prize at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. The prize, which funds full production of a new play each year, has become one of the most important theater honors in the U.S. The 2003 production of Carson Kreitzer's "The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer," epitomizes the emerging art this prize makes possible.

In the 1970s as a Planned Parenthood trustee, she escorted troubled young women through crowds of protesters.

She worked for the benefit of exotic animals and brought education programs to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Her work on behalf of California lettuce field workers led to a friendship with union leader Cesar Chavez.

Early life[edit]

She grew up in largely Jewish South Avondale, Ohio where her family owned Bilker's, a successful family-owned neighborhood delicatessen.

She attended classes at Avondale School, is a graduate of Walnut Hills High School and holds a B.A. in Economics (class of 1960) from The University of Cincinnati.


Lois made her career working closely with her husband at their family owned publishing business, F&W Publications [1] for over 40 years. Her husband ran the publishing end of specialty books and magazines, and she edited "Story," a magazine focused on new fiction.[4] The Rosenthals sold the business in December 1999 to concentrate on their charitable foundation.

Life Facts[edit]

Birthplace: Cincinnati. Residence: Hyde Park. Family: Married to Richard Rosenthal; daughter, Jennie Rosenthal Berliant, Cincinnati; son, David Rosenthal, Cincinnati; four grandchildren, Liz Berliant (22), Andrew Berliant (20), Eva Rosenthal-(18), and Mae Rosenthal-(16). Education: University of Cincinnati, bachelor of arts with major in economics (1960). Occupation: Author, Publisher, Arts & Humanities Philanthropist, Community volunteer. Awards: National Magazine Award, 1992 and 1995 (finalist five times), YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year (1999).


  1. ^ May, Lucy (July 22, 2014). "Lois Rosenthal: Greater Cincinnati philanthropist dies at age 75". WCPO. Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c http://www.cincinnati.com/womenofyear/lois.html
  3. ^ http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/09/07/loc_loc3acenter.html
  4. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/03/arts/a-new-chapter-in-the-life-of-story.html