Herbert H. Lehman

Herbert H. Lehman

Infobox Officeholder
name = Herbert Henry Lehman

imagesize =

caption =
order = United States Senator
from New York
term_start = November 9, 1949
term_end = January 3, 1957
predecessor = John Foster Dulles
successor = Jacob K. Javits
order2 = 45th Governor of New York
term_start2 = January 1, 1933
term_end2 = December 3, 1942
lieutenant2 = M. William Bray (1933-1938)
Charles Poletti
predecessor2 = Franklin D. Roosevelt
successor2 = Charles Poletti
order3 = 46th Lieutenant Governor of New York
term_start3 = January 1, 1929
term_end3 = December 31, 1932
governor3 = Franklin D. Roosevelt
predecessor3 = Edwin Corning
successor3 = M. William Bray
order4 = 1st Director General of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
term_start4 = 1943
term_end4 = 1946
predecessor4 = "none"
successor4 = Fiorello H. La Guardia
birth_date = birth date|1878|3|28|mf=y
birth_place = New York City, New York
death_date = death date and age|1963|12|05|1878|03|28
death_place =
party = Democratic
spouse =
profession =
religion =

Herbert Henry Lehman (March 28, 1878 ndash December 5, 1963) was a Democratic Party politician from the U.S. state of New York. He served as the Governor of New York from 1933 until 1942, and represented New York in the United States Senate from 1949 until 1957.


Lehman Brothers

Lehman, born in New York City in 1878, was the son of Ashkenazi immigrant Mayer Lehman, one of the three founders of the Lehman Brothers investment banking firm. Herbert Lehman attended what is now The Dwight School. A graduate of Williams College (Class of 1899), he became a partner of Lehman Brothers with his brother Arthur and cousin Philip in 1908.cite web |title=Life and Legacy of Herbert H. Lehman |work=Lehman Suite |url=http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/lehsuite/biography_files/]

Military and family

Lehman married Edith Louise Altschul in 1910. Herbert Lehman became a colonel in the U.S. Army during World War I.

The couple had three children, Hilda, Peter, and John. All three served in the United States Military during World War II; Peter was killed while on active duty.


Lehman became active in politics in 1920, and became chairman of the finance committee of the Democratic Party in 1928, as a reward for being a strong supporter of Alfred E. Smith. He resigned from Lehman Brothers upon becoming the lieutenant governor of New York in 1929. He then served four terms as the Governor of New York between 1933 and 1942. Unlike Smith, Lehman was a supporter of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "New Deal" policies and implemented a program in the same spirit in New York. He resigned in the final year of his last term and took up posts connected with refugee aid and relief in the United States Department of State and later the United Nations, among them as the director general of the UNRRA.

On December 3, 1942, he resigned the governorship when he was appointed Director of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations for the State Department. He served as Director-General of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration from 1943 to 1946.cite web |author=The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers |title=Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site: Herbert Lehman (1928–1956) |work=Teaching Eleanor Roosevelt |url=http://www.nps.gov/elro/glossary/lehman-herbert.htm |accessdate=2005-11-07]

Herbert Lehman was the Democratic Nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1946 and also ran on the Liberal Party and American Labor Party tickets, but he was defeated by the Republican candidate Irving Ives in what was a very good year for GOP candidates. Afterwards, he was a Senator from New York from 1949 to 1957. In a special election, Lehman beat John Foster Dulles, who had been appointed to temporarily fill Robert F. Wagner's Senate seat. In that campaign he ran on the Democratic and Liberal Party lines, with the American Labor Party making no endorsement. Lehman then served most of the remainder of Wagner's term, before winning a full term in the Senate in 1950. (In 1950 he ran on the Democratic and Liberal lines and was opposed by the American Labor Party.)

Lehman was one of two senators who was opposed to nominating Mississippi Senator James O. Eastland to be Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. (The other was Wayne L. Morse of Oregon.) He was also an early and vocal opponent of Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.). Lehman was one of the most liberal Senators and not considered part of the Senate "club" of insiders. He retired from the Senate after his full term, and was not a candidate for renomination or reelection in 1956.cite web |title=LEHMAN, Herbert Henry, (1878–1963) |work=Biographical Directory of the United States Congress |url=http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=L000224 |accessdate=2005-11-09]

After his retirement from the Senate, Lehman remained politically active, working with Eleanor Roosevelt and Thomas K. Finletter in the late 1950s and early 1960s to support the reform Democratic movement in Manhattan that eventually defeated longtime Tammany Hall boss Carmine DeSapio.

Among other activities after his retirement from the Senate, he founded the Lehman Children's Zoo (now the Tisch Zoo) in Central Park, which declared that "No Adult Will Be Admitted unless Accompanied by a Child."

Lehman was the first, and until the 2007 inauguration of Eliot Spitzer, the only Jewish Governor of New York.cite web |author=Moss, Mitchell |title=The Vanishing Jew |work=Forward |url=http://www.mitchellmoss.com/oped/94-02-04-forward.html |accessdate=2005-11-07|date=1994-02-04 ] During much of his Senate career, he was the only Jew in the Senate as well. Unlike most of his Jewish constituents, who came from Eastern Europe, Lehman's family was from Germany.


*Herbert H. Lehman died in 1963 and was interred in the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.cite web |author=Kensico.org (Kensico Cemetery) |title=Historic & Scenic Tour: Herbert H. Lehman |url=http://www.kensico.org/historic-scenic-tour-21.asp |accessdate=2005-11-07] That year, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.
*Lehman College of the City University of New York is named after him; a bust of Lehman, by sculptor John Belardo, was dedicated there in September 2005.cite web |author=Office of Media Relations & Publications of Lehman College |title=Remembering the Legacy of Herbert H. Lehman |work=Lehman E-News |url=http://www.lehman.edu/lehman/enews/2005_09_26/feat_bust.html |accessdate=2005-11-05|date=2005-09-26 ] The High School of American Studies at Lehman College is located on the campus. College dormitories are named in his honor at Williams College, the University at Buffalo, and at Binghamton University.
*A ship on the Staten Island Ferry, "The Governor Herbert H. Lehman", is named for him. She was retired in 2007 after 42 years of service and has been sold for scrap.cite web |author=Gerber, David Paul and Wayne Whitehorne |title=Staten Island Ferry |work=Station Reporter |url=http://www.stationreporter.net/siferry.htm |accessdate=2005-11-07|month=December |year=2004 ]
*There is a Herbert H. Lehman Center for American History at Columbia University. His papers were donated to the Columbia University Libraries and are housed in the social sciences libraryndash which is also named in his honor. Additionally, Columbia has a Herbert Lehman Professorship of government, which is currently held by Mahmood Mamdani. Columbia's sister school, Barnard College, has a building named in Lehman's honor; it houses Barnard's library and some social sciences departments. Williams College, his alma mater, named a dormitory after him in 1928.
* New York City High School located on Westchester Square in Pelham Bay in The Bronx, New York (est. 1974) also named in his honor.
*In 1974, Herbert H. Lehman was inducted into [http://www.amuseum.org/jahf/virtour/page19.html#herbertlehman the Jewish-American Hall of Fame] .
* Moshav Liman in northern Israel is named after him.


External links

* [http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lehmancenter/ The Herbert H. Lehman Center for American History] at Columbia University, with pictures of Lehman.
* [http://www.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/cul/resolve?lweb0107 Lehman Special Correspondence Files Website] at Columbia University Libraries.
* [http://www.historychannel.com/speeches/archive/speech_178.html Lehman's opening speech] at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City, on The History Channel's Speech Archive

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Herbert H. Lehman — Herbert Henry Lehman (* 28. März 1878 in New York City; † 5. Dezember 1963 ebenda) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker und von 1933 bis 1942 Gouverneur des Bundesstaates New York. Zwischen 1949 und 1957 vertrat er seinen Staat im US Senat …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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