LEHMAN , U.S. family in the 19th–20th century. The brothers henry (1821–1855), emanuel (1827–1907), and mayer lehman (1830–1897), the immigrant sons of a Bavarian cattle merchant, formed the Lehman Brothers partnership in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1850. Originally commodity dealers, particularly in cotton, the firm began dealing in oil, railways, and public utilities after opening a New York office in 1858. By 1906, the firm had shifted from primarily dealing in commodities to investment banking and underwriting, with emphasis on consumer-oriented issues such as department stores and other retailing, car leasing, and finance companies. In 1924 the first non-family partner was admitted to the firm. A separate investment company, the Lehman Corporation, was formed in 1929 and managed by the parent firm. A later senior partner was robert lehman (1891–1969), Emanuel's grandson. He became a partner in the firm in 1921, chief partner by 1925, and by 1967 built the firm into one of the four largest investment banks in the U.S. Lehman early foresaw the possibilities of mass air transportation and his firm's heavy investments in passenger airlines provided a strong impetus for the growth of passenger air transportation in the U.S. Robert owned one of the greatest private art collections in the world, started by his father philip lehman (1861–1947). On his death he donated it to the Metropolitan Museum.
Mayer's sons arthur (1873–1936), a partner in the family firm, and Herbert Henry *Lehman (1878–1963) were prominently identified with the American Jewish Committee and the Joint Distribution Committee, and Irving *Lehman (1876–1945) was a distinguished jurist. allan s. lehman (1885–1952), Mayer Lehman's grandson, was a participant in community affairs, such as the Joint Defense Appeal.
A Centennial – Lehman Brothers, 1850–1950 (1950); J. Wechsberg, The Merchant Bankers (1966), 279–334.
[Hanns G. Reissner]