Lehman, John F., Jr. 1942–
Lehman, John F., Jr. 1942–
(John Francis Lehman, Jr.)
PERSONAL: Born September 14, 1942, in Philadelphia, PA; son of John Francis, Sr. (an executive) and Grace Constance (Cruice) Lehman. Education: St. Joseph's College, B.S., 1964; Cambridge University, B.A. (with honors), M.A., 1967; University of Pennsylvania, M.A., Ph.D., 1974. Politics: Republican. Religion: Catholic.
CAREER: Intercollegiate Review, Philadelphia, PA, assistant editor, 1964–66; Bendix-University of Pennsylvania Third International Arms Control Symposium, executive director, 1966; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Foreign Policy Research Institute, staff member, 1967–69, chair of Defense Task Force, 1996–2000, member of board of trustees; National Security Council, Washington, DC, staff member, 1969–71, senior staff member and special counsel, 1971–74; member of U.S. Delegation to Mutual Balance Force Reduction Talks, Vienna, Austria, 1974; Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Washington, DC, deputy director, 1975–77; Abington Corp. (defense consulting firm), president, 1977–81; Secretary of the U.S. Navy, Washington, DC, 1981–87; Paine Webber, Inc. (investment banking corp.), New York, NY, managing director, 1988–91; Sperry Marine, Inc., New York, NY, chair, 1993–96; J.F. Lehman & Company (investment firm), New York, NY, founding partner, managing partner, and chair, c. 1990s–; OAO Technology Solutions, Greenbelt, MD, chair, 2001. Defense Advisory Committee, Republican National Committee, chair, 1977–80; Ball Corporation, Broomfield, CO, director, 1987–; National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Washington, DC, commissioner, 2002–04; Insurance Services Office, Jersey City, NJ, director; SDI Inc., Huntsville, AL, director; Elgar, Inc., San Diego, CA, director. Paribas Affaires Industrielles, member of advisory board; Prince Grace Foundation, U.S.A., chair; University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering, Philadelphia, PA, member of board of overseers; honorary fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England. Military service: U.S. Navy Reserve.
(Editor, with James E. Dougherty) The Prospects for Arms Control, MacFadden-Bartell Corp. (New York, NY), 1965.
(Editor, with James E. Dougherty) Arms Control for the Late Sixties, Van Nostrand (Princeton, NJ), 1967.
The Executive, Congress, and Foreign Policy: Studies of the Nixon Administration, Praeger (New York, NY), 1974.
Aircraft Carriers: The Real Choices, Sage Publications (Beverly Hills, CA), 1978.
(With Seymour Weiss) Beyond the SALT II Failure, foreword by Richard Perle, Praeger (New York, NY), 1981.
The Launching of the U.S.S. Ohio (sound recording), Encyclopedia Americana/CBS News Audio Resources Library (New York, NY), 1981.
Maritime Strategy in the Defense of NATO: The Fourth David M. Abshire Endowed Lecture, September 25, 1986, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University (Washington, DC), 1986.
Command of the Seas (memoir), Scribner's (New York, NY), 1988.
Making War: The 200-Year-Old Battle between the President and Congress over How America Goes to War, Scribner's (New York, NY), 1992.
On Seas of Glory: Heroic Men, Great Ships, and Epic Battles of the American Navy, Free Press (New York, NY), 2001.
(Editor, with Harvey Sicherman) America the Vulnerable: Our Military Problems and How to Fix Them, Foreign Policy Research Institute (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.
Also member of commission for report The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, W.H. Norton & Co. (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: John F. Lehman, Jr., was born into a prominent Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, family and has served in various governmental and executive positions throughout his career. A long-time member of the U.S. Naval Reserve, he was the secretary of the U.S. Navy during the two terms of Ronald Reagan's presidency in the 1980s. After leaving government service, Lehman worked in investment banking, including as chair of J.F. Lehman & Company, a firm he founded. Even while focusing on banking, however, Lehman has served the federal government on occasion, most notably as a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (commonly known as the 9/11 commission), which looked into the causes and conditions surrounding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Many of Lehman's books focus on his experiences working in the federal government and the U.S. Navy. A Republican, he did not support the United States' ratification of the SALT II (Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty II) nor did he back President Jimmy Carter's budget cuts in the area of defense. Aircraft Carriers: The Real Choices is his argument for America buying and using more ships, especially nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. When Lehman served as Secretary of the U.S. Navy, he worked to increase the size of America's fleet.
The memoir Command of the Seas recalls Lehman's background and experiences as the U.S. Secretary of the Navy. In addition to his fight to add more ships to the U.S. Navy, he discusses personal battles with Paul Thayer, the deputy secretary of defense, and Admiral Rickover, who was eventually fired. While finding moments of poor editing of the book problematic, a reviewer for the Economist commented that "for those who care about how the American defense establishment really works and, more important, how it fails to work, this book must on no account be missed."
In Making War: The 200-Year-Old Battle between the President and Congress over How America Goes to War Lehman considers the history of declaring war in the United States, both legally and politically. Two events are particularly significant to Lehman's book: a very early Supreme Court decision that drew a distinction between "imperfect" and "solemn" wars and the passage of the 1972 War Powers Act during the administration of President Richard M. Nixon. The author also looks at the increasing importance of covert action and the strangling effect of an ever-growing bureaucracy since the Vietnam War.
Lehman offers a history of the United States Navy from the Revolutionary War to the present in On Seas of Glory: Heroic Men, Great Ships, and Epic Battles of the American Navy. The topic has captivated Lehman since childhood. As Lehman told Fred L. Schultz in Naval History: "My interest began when I was sitting around the dinner table, hearing stories that my dad would tell about his grandfather, who was in the Civil War Navy…. A few times, although he spoke rarely about it, he recalled his own adventures in the Navy. I've always been fascinated, obviously, with naval history. But more important, I developed an appreciation of naval people." In Lehman's book, he analyzes technological innovations, strategic changes, the role of the navy in U.S. history, and significant personalities in the development of naval forces in America. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented: "This is, simply put, old-fashioned drums and trumpets military writing. Lehman knows his subject, and his folksy writing style is easy to read and comprehend."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
The Cold War, 1945–1991, edited by Benjamin Frankel, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1992.
Lehman, John F., Jr., Command of the Seas, Scribner's (New York, NY), 1988.
Economist, February 18, 1989 review of Command of the Seas, p. 96.
Naval History, February, 2002, Fred L. Schultz, "An Interview with John Lehman: 'Captivated by the American Spirit,'" p. 22.
Publishers Weekly, September 10, 2001, review of On Seas of Glory: Heroic Men, Great Ships, and Epic Battles of the American Navy, p. 81.
John F. Lehman Home Page, http://www.johnflehman.com (October 22, 2005).
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States Web site, http://www.9-11commission.gov/ (October 7, 2005), biography of John F. Lehman, Jr.
Right-Web, http://rightweb.irc-online.org/ (October 7, 2005), biography of John F. Lehman, Jr.