Robert Owen Lehman
September 29, 1891
|Died||August 9, 1969 77)(aged|
|Education|| Hotchkiss School (1908) |
Yale University (1913)
|Known for||CEO of Lehman Brothers|
|Spouse(s)||Ruth S. Lamar Rumsey (divorced)|
Ruth Leavitt Meeker
Lee Anz Lynn
--Robert Owen Lehman Jr.
|Parent(s)||Carrie Lauer Lehman|
Robert Owen Lehman, Sr. (September 29, 1891 – August 9, 1969) was an American banker, head of Lehman Brothers for decades, and a notable race-horse owner, art collector, and philanthropist.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was a global financial services firm. Before filing for bankruptcy in 2008, Lehman was the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States, doing business in investment banking, equity and fixed-income sales and trading, research, investment management, private equity, and private banking. Lehman was operational for 158 years from its founding in 1850 until 2008.
Lehman was born to a Jewish family in New York City. He was the son of Philip Lehman (1861–1947) and grandson of Emanuel Lehman, a cofounder of Lehman Brothers investment bank, and Carrie Lauer (1865–1937).
American Jews, or Jewish Americans, are Americans who are Jews, whether by religion, ethnicity, or nationality. Today the Jewish community in the United States consists primarily of Ashkenazi Jews, who descend from diaspora Jewish populations of Central and Eastern Europe and comprise about 90-95% of the American Jewish population. Most American Ashkenazim are US-born, with a dwindling number of now-elderly earlier immigrants, as well as some more recent foreign-born immigrants.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Philip Lehman was an American investment banker.
He graduated from Hotchkiss School in 1908and was a 1913 graduate of Yale University and member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Phi chapter). When his father retired in 1925, "Bobbie" Lehman assumed the leadership role of the family-owned business. He took over the bank during a time when Lehman Brothers, like its competitors Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, was essentially a one-office firm.
The Hotchkiss School is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational, college preparatory boarding school in Lakeville, Connecticut, founded in 1891. The school offers a classical education with grades 9–12 and a postgraduate (PG) option, attracting students across the United States and 34 foreign countries.
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Yale consistently ranks among the top universities in the world.
Delta Kappa Epsilon (ΔΚΕ), commonly known as DKE or Deke, is one of the oldest North American fraternities, with 56 active chapters across America and Canada. The fraternity was founded at Yale College in 1844 by 15 sophomores who were disaffected by the existing houses on campus. They established a fellowship "where the candidate most favored was he who combined in the most equal proportions the gentleman, the scholar, and the jolly good fellow."
While sound financial principles were essential, Robert Lehman was often quoted as saying that he "bet on people." One of those people he believed in was Juan Trippe who would build Pan American World Airways into an industry powerhouse. Robert Lehman understood that to maximize Lehman Brothers' growth he needed additional investor capital. While still maintaining voting control, he was the first to invite non-family members to become partners. He understood too that the right partners could expand the company's opportunities through interlocking directorships. As such, he sold an interest in Lehman Brothers to John D. Hertz who had sold his Yellow Cab Company and The Hertz Corporation for a fortune and who sat on the board of directors of General Motors. Under Robert Lehman, the bank concentrated on rapidly developing consumer industries with financing deals arranged in retailing, airlines, and the entertainment business notably with the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theatre group 1928 deal that sold the majority of its stock to Joseph P. Kennedy which led to the creation of RKO motion picture studios. And, when Lehman put together start-up financing for Paramount Pictures, John D. Hertz would be their connection on Paramount's board.
Juan Terry Trippe was an American commercial aviation pioneer, entrepreneur and the founder of Pan American World Airways, one of the iconic airlines of the 20th century. He was instrumental in numerous revolutionary advances in airline history, including the development and production of the Boeing 314 Clipper, which opened trans-Pacific airline travel, the Boeing Stratoliner which helped to pioneer cabin pressurization, the Boeing 707 which launched the Jet Age, and the Boeing 747 which introduced the era of jumbo jets. Trippe's signing of the 747 contract coincided with the 50th anniversary of Boeing, and he gave a speech where he explained his belief that these jets would be a force that would help bring about world peace.
Pan American World Airways, originally founded as Pan American Airways and commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier and unofficial flag carrier of the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991. It was founded in 1927 as a scheduled air mail and passenger service operating between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba. The airline is credited for many innovations that shaped the international airline industry, including the widespread use of jet aircraft, jumbo jets, and computerized reservation systems. It was also a founding member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global airline industry association.
John Daniel Hertz, Sr. was an American businessman, thoroughbred racehorse owner and breeder, and philanthropist.
Robert Lehman guided his company through the perils of the stock-market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression of the 1930s. Post-war, he grew the company substantially, expanding to Paris, France to meet the financial needs of his clients with international operations. In the process, he made himself one of the wealthiest people in the United States.
The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as the Stock Market Crash 1929 or the Great Crash, was a major stock market crash that occurred in late October 1929. It started on October 24 and continued until October 29, 1929, when share prices on the New York Stock Exchange collapsed.
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries, it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.
A lover of horses and a polo enthusiast, Robert Lehman played on a polo team with W. Averell Harriman, Jock Whitney and Tommy Hitchcock, Jr.. He was also a thoroughbred racehorse owner and breeder who had five horses compete in the Kentucky Derby. His horses, most trained by Ralph G. Kercheval, won numerous important stakes races including the Correction Handicap and the Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack, and the Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga Race Course.
Polo is a horseback mounted team sport. It is one of the world's oldest known team sports.
William Averell Harriman, better known as Averell Harriman, was an American Democratic politician, businessman, and diplomat. The son of railroad baron E. H. Harriman, he served as Secretary of Commerce under President Harry S. Truman and later as the 48th Governor of New York. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952 and 1956, as well as a core member of the group of foreign policy elders known as "The Wise Men".
The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses that are known for their agility, speed, and spirit.
For six decades he built upon an art collection begun by his father in 1911 and devoted a great deal of time and energy as a long-time member of the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and finally becoming the first chairman of the board at the Metropolitan in the 1960s.The importance of his collection became such that in 1957, nearly three hundred works were used for a solo exhibit at the Louvre Museum's Musée de l'Orangerie in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris. At that time, his was the only private American collection to be given that honor. In 1968 he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Yale University for having "enhanced the civic life, the culture, and the artistic development of our civilization."
After his death in 1969, the Robert Lehman Foundation donated close to 3,000 works of art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Housed in the Robert Lehman Wing, which opened to the public in 1975, the museum has called it "one of the most extraordinary private art collections ever assembled in the United States". To this day, his Foundation remains active, operating the Robert Lehman Art Lecture Fund and sponsoring exhibitions in museums, both around the U.S. and worldwide. Other philanthropic activities include support for PBS television programming. The Robert Lehman Art Center at Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts, is named in his honor.
Robert's first marriage—to Ruth S. (née Lamar) Rumsey (born 1902) in May 1929 in Montreal, Canada—ended in a divorce about 1931. Previous to her marriage to Robert, Ruth Lamar had been married to John Williams "Jack" Rumsey (1877-1960), who was owner of the Embassy Club (a nightclub in NYC) and president of the American Play Company (an old established literary agency located at 532 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan).
Robert's second marriage, which occurred on June 25, 1934 in Washington, D. C., was to Ruth "Kitty" (Leavitt) Meeker (1904–1984), daughter of William Homer Leavitt and Ruth Bryan Owen, and granddaughter of United States Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan. They had one son, cinematographer and director, Robert "Robin" Owen Lehman Jr. Meeker had three daughters from her first marriage to William Painter Meeker (1902–1983) whom she divorced in 1933: Ruth Meeker, Helen Meeker, and Kathrine Meeker.Robert and Ruth Meeker's marriage also ended in divorce in 1951.
Robert's third marriage—to Lee "Elena" (Anz) Lynn (1919-2006)—occurred on July 10, 1952 in New York.
He died August 9, 1969 and is interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the United States. With 6,953,927 visitors to its three locations in 2018, it was the third most visited art museum in the world. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among seventeen curatorial departments. The main building, on the eastern edge of Central Park along Museum Mile in Manhattan's Upper East Side is by area one of the world's largest art galleries. A much smaller second location, The Cloisters at Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, contains an extensive collection of art, architecture, and artifacts from Medieval Europe. On March 18, 2016, the museum opened the Met Breuer museum at Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side; it extends the museum's modern and contemporary art program.
Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt Jr. was a member of the prominent Vanderbilt family, a son of the first Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, who died a hero in the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. His mother, Margaret Emerson, was one of America's wealthiest women and most sought-after hostesses, operating at least seven large estates around the country. His grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, had been one of America's most revered businessmen; his great-grandfather, William Henry Vanderbilt had been the richest man in the world. "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt started the family fortune in shipping and railroads as the founder of the New York Central Railroad and builder of Grand Central Depot, the precursor to Grand Central Terminal, built on approximately the same location, and completed by Cornelius II in 1913.
Sir John Wyndham Pope-Hennessy, was a British art historian and Director of the British Museum. He was a scholar of Italian Renaissance art. Many of his writings, including the tripartite Introduction to Italian Sculpture and his magnum opus, Donatello: Sculptor, are regarded as classics in the field.
William Robertson Coe was an insurance, railroad and business executive, a major owner and breeder of Thoroughbred racehorses, as well as a collector of Americana and an important philanthropist for the academic discipline of American Studies.
Frederick Baldwin Adams Jr. was an American bibliophile and the director of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City from 1948–1969.
Roswell Leavitt Gilpatric was a prominent New York City corporate attorney and government official who served as Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1961–64, when he played a pivotal role in the high-stake strategies of the Cuban Missile Crisis, advising President John F. Kennedy as well as Robert McNamara and McGeorge Bundy on dealing with the Russian nuclear missile threat. Gilpatric later served as Chairman of the Task Force on Nuclear Proliferation in 1964.
Ruth Baird Bryan Leavitt Owen Rohde, also known as Ruth Bryan Owen, was a politician and the first woman appointed as a United States ambassador. The daughter of attorneys William Jennings Bryan and Mary E. Baird, she was a Democrat, who in 1929 was elected as Florida's first female US Representative, coming from Florida's 4th district. Representative Owen was also the first woman to earn a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
A private collection is a privately owned collection of works. In a museum or art-gallery context, the term signifies that a certain work is not owned by that institution, but is on loan from an individual or organization, either for temporary exhibition or for the long term. This source is usually an art collector, although it could also be a school, church, bank, or some other company or organization. By contrast, collectors of books, even if they collect for aesthetic reasons, are called bibliophiles, and their collections are typically referred to as libraries.
Ogden Mills Phipps was an American stockbroker, court tennis champion and Hall of Fame member, thoroughbred horse racing executive and owner/breeder, and an art collector and philanthropist. In 2001, he was inducted into the International Court Tennis Hall of Fame.
Arthur Goodhart Altschul was an American banker and a Goldman Sachs Group partner, and executive at his private family office, Overbrook Management Corporation, founded by his father.
Bartolo di Fredi, also called Bartolo Battiloro, was an Italian painter, born in Siena, classified as a member of the Sienese School.
The Lehman family is a prominent family of Jewish German-Americans who founded the financial firm Lehman Brothers. Some were also involved in American politics. Members have married into the prominent Morgenthau, Loeb, and Bronfman families.
John Wheeler Leavitt was a prominent New York City businessman, founder of J. W. & R. Leavitt Company, eventually declared insolvent, and grandfather of American society portrait painter Cecilia Beaux, who frequently painted members of the family.
William Homer Leavitt was an American portrait painter who married the daughter of politician William Jennings Bryan. For a time, Leavitt was a sought-after society portraitist, until he departed for Paris to pursue his art. He was subsequently divorced by his wife, and his two children were raised by their politician grandfather. Leavitt's two children became the subject of a heated custody battle chronicled in the newspapers of the day.
Robert Michael Fomon was an American financier who was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of E. F. Hutton & Co. from 1970 to 1987, a governor of the New York Stock Exchange, and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Pacific Stock Exchange.
Adele Lewisohn Lehman was an American philanthropist and member of the Lehman family.
The Lehman Madonna is a c.1470 tempera on panel painting of the Madonna and Child by the Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini.
Robert "Robin" Owen Lehman Jr. is an American cinematographer, director, screenwriter, and member of the Lehman family.