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definition - Lewis_Lehrman

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Lewis Lehrman

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Lewis E. "Lew" Lehrman (born August 15, 1938 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) is an investment banker who actively supports the ongoing study of American history from a conservative perspective. He was presented the National Humanities Medal[2] at the White House in 2005 for his scholarly contributions. His philanthropic work specializes in American History and the study of President Abraham Lincoln. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and the Lincoln Forum. In addition to co-authoring Money and the Coming World Order and The Case for Gold, Lehrman's latest book, Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning Point,[3]was published in July 2008. He has written for major news publications such as the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and has lectured widely on American history and economics. Lehrman also writes for the Lincoln Institute[4] which has created award-winning websites on the 16th President. Lehrman achieved national political prominence in a 1982 campaign for Governor of New York, in which he ran against Democratic candidate Mario Cuomo, losing the election by only two percentage points. He is presently a senior partner at L. E. Lehrman & Co.[5], an investment firm he established in 1981. He is also currently the chairman of The Lehrman Institute, a public policy research and grant making foundation founded in 1972.



In 1972 Lehrman founded the Lehrman Institute, a public policy think tank in New York City which focused on the study of economic and foreign policy from an historical perspective. Lehrman and investor-philanthropist Richard W. Gilder, both former students at Yale and members of Wolf's Head Society, went on to found the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Gilder Lehrman Collection of American historical documents. They also founded the Lincoln and Soldiers Institute at Gettysburg College, which awards the annual Lincoln Prize for the best work of scholarship on President Lincoln and the Civil War period, as well as the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University, which awards the Frederick Douglass Prize for the best work in these fields. Washington political columnists Evans and Novak reported that Ronald Reagan considered naming him Secretary of the Treasury before selecting Donald T. Regan.

Lehrman is a former President of Rite Aid and conservative activist. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Project for the New American Century, as well as a Trustee to the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Lehrman was a managing director of Morgan Stanley in the late 1980s. After Morgan Stanley, in 1991, he established an investment company, L.E. Lehrman & Co. He was also an investor in George W. Bush's Arbusto Energy. He and Gilder were awarded the National Humanities Medal in an Oval Office ceremony on Thursday, November 10, 2005. The Medal was presented by President George W. Bush.

Gubernatorial campaign

Lehrman was the president of Rite Aid until 1977, and resigned all positions in 1981 to run for governor of New York the following year. He was well known for wearing red suspenders in his campaign commercials. Running on the Republican and Conservative Party lines, Lehrman was defeated by then-Lieutenant Governor Mario Cuomo, 51-48%. Cuomo ran on the Democratic and Liberal Party lines, after defeating New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch in the Democratic Party primary election. Lehrman won the Republican nomination in a primary against attorney Paul J. Curran, after several other Republican candidates dropped out of the race.

Historical society

Lewis Lehrman attended The Hill School, a boarding school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Lehrman's involvement with the teaching of history began as a Carnegie Teaching Fellow at Yale University in 1960 and subsequently at Harvard University, where he completed a master's degree as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. In the 1970s he returned to Yale to head up a review of the humanities curriculum for the Yale University Council. For the Gilder Lehrman Collection, Lewis Lehrman and Richard Gilder collected historical documents in order to place them into a collection where they would be available to scholars and the public. First put on deposit at the Morgan Library, the documents are now located at the New York Historical Society. By 2006, the GLC had amassed more than 60,000 documents and other historical items, mostly on 18th and 19th Century America. Articles from those periods have been used in exhibits at the New York Historical Society that have generated debate. Lehrman himself has written and lectured about Abraham Lincoln's legacy in the centrality of American history.[6]

The Lincoln Institute

Lehrman founded The Lincoln Institute [7] to provide support and assistance to scholars and groups involved in the study of the life of America's 16th President. The Lincoln Institute promotes the development and dissemination of printed materials, broadcast products, conferences and Internet resources on Mr. Lincoln. It encourages scholars to cooperate with one another and to contribute to the development of historical materials and the transcription of primary sources for both physical and virtual display.

The Lincoln Institute also produces and maintains six websites about Abraham Lincoln and the people with whom he lived and worked.

Mr. Lincoln's White House [8]examines the events and people who worked with President Lincoln in Washington during the tumultuous years of the Civil War.

Mr. Lincoln and the Founders [9] examines the impact of the Founders, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution on Mr. Lincoln's life, political thinking and political actions in the 1850s and 1860s.

Mr. Lincoln and Freedom [10] details the progress of Mr. Lincoln's opposition to slavery from his years in the Illinois State Legislature to the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.

Mr. Lincoln and Friends [11] reviews the many men and a few women whose friendships helped determine Mr. Lincoln's political progress and success in the Springfield, Illinois state capital and in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Lincoln and New York [12] discusses the many ways in which the center of 19th century American political, media and economic power interacted with, supported and tormented Mr. Lincoln both before and during his Presidency.

Abraham Lincoln’s Classroom [13] is a resource for scholars and groups involved in the study of Abraham Lincoln’s life, the impact he had on the preservation of the Union and the emancipation of black slaves.

Conservative causes

In addition to his historical scholarship work, Lehrman is also active in civic and conservative causes. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Project for the New American Century for one year. In the late 1970s he was a Trustee to the American Enterprise Institute and was a member of the Heritage Foundation until the 1990s. In addition, Lehrman was an early of the Manhattan Institute and a trustee of the Pierpont Morgan Library.

In 1983 he helped to found Citizens for America, an organization which aided Oliver North's campaign to supply the anti-communist Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua. In 1985, the organization was run for a short time by future lobbyist and convict Jack Abramoff. Abramoff was later fired for mismanaging the organization's funds.[1] During that year, Citizens for America sponsored a meeting in Angola between Angolan, Nicaraguan, Afghan, and Laotian anti-communist rebels. Lehrman personally attended the event, called the "Democratic International".

Co-author of The Case for Gold

Congressman Ron Paul and Lewis Lehrman, members of the Presidential Gold Commission of 1981, worked with a team of economists that included Murray Rothbard to write the book The Case for Gold. Lehrman's singular point of view appears in Money and the Coming World Order (1971).

The Lehrman American Studies Center

In 2005, with Lehrman's funding, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute established the Lehrman American Studies Center. This center, as stated on its website, works to "enrich higher education by creating the right conditions for vigorous discussion and contemplative scholarship - particularly within the scope of American Studies." [2] The center provides a variety of programming, including an annual two week summer institute at Princeton University for young academics, and maintains an online library of teaching resources.

Author of Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning Point

Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning Point [14] addresses two speeches given by Abraham Lincoln at Springfield and Peoria, Illinois, in October 1854. These addresses catapulted Lincoln into the debates over slavery that dominated Illinois and national politics for the rest of the decade. They also formed the foundation of his politics, principles and the themes of his Presidency. The book will be published in July 2008.

1982 New York State Republican Ticket

  • Governor: Lewis Lehrman
  • Lieutenant Governor: James L. Emery
  • Comptroller: Edward Regan
  • Attorney General: Frances Sclafani
  • U.S. Senate: Florence Sullivan


  1. ^ Hemingway, Mark. "My Dinner With Jack" The Weekly Standard, April 3, 2006.
  2. ^ [1]

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Perry B. Duryea, Jr.
Republican Nominee for Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Andrew O'Rourke


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