Leidesdorf, Samuel David

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LEIDESDORF, SAMUEL DAVID (1881–1968), U.S. businessman and communal leader. Leidesdorf, who was born in New York City, became a certified public accountant at the age of 20. In 1905 he founded the accounting firm of S.D. Leidesdorf and Co., subsequently one of the largest in the U.S. He was extremely active as a fundraiser on behalf of numerous charities, especially the United Jewish Appeal, and collected millions of dollars for them. Leidesdorf was instrumental in establishing the New York University Medical Center and served as its board chairman. His other organizational posts included treasurer of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York for over 30 years; president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies; and director of both the Joint Distribution Committee and the National Conference of Christians and Jews. He also served as chairman of the board of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.