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LEWISOHN , U.S. family of industrialists and philanthropists. leonard lewisohn (1847–1902) was born in Hamburg, Germany, the son of Samuel Lewisohn, a prominent merchant. After arriving in New York City in 1865, he and his brothers julius and adolph (1849–1938), who came from Hamburg to New York City in 1867, founded Lewisohn Brothers. Originally active in the ostrich feather and allied import-export activities, the firm soon pioneered in the development of copper mines in the United States and moved into worldwide sales of copper and lead. Leonard's philanthropies included the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society and the Jewish Theological Seminary, as well as general leadership in New York Jewish community affairs.

In 1898, Adolph and Leonard, with Henry H. Rogers and William Rockefeller, formed the United Metals Selling Company. Among the other firms with which Adolph was associated were the General Development Co., the American Smelting and Refining Co., Tennessee Copper and Chemical Co., and Adolph Lewisohn and Sons. Adolph rapidly accumulated a fortune in these enterprises and became prominent in civic, communal, and cultural affairs. He was especially interested in child care, crime prevention, and prison reform and served as president of the National Committee on Prisons and Prison Labor. Adolph Lewisohn was also president of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society for over 30 years, was one of the founders of the American ort in 1924, and made generous contributions to Columbia University, the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies in New York, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Brooklyn Museum. He was also a noted art and rare book collector. Adolph's best-known gift was the 6,000-seat athletic stadium he gave to City College of New York in 1915. He stipulated in his will that the college allow it to be used for concerts in the summer, and for almost 50 years (to 1966) it was the setting for inexpensive musical events. Leonard's son frederick (1882–1959) entered the family business in 1898 and participated in the formation of American Smelting and Refining Company and Anaconda Copper Company. His interests also included gold and platinum mines in Colombia and the Lewisohn Copper Corporation of Arizona. Lewisohn was a member of the New York Stock Exchange and a director of the New York Central Railroad.

Adolph's son sam adolph (1884–1951) was born in New York City. After working briefly as a lawyer, he decided in 1910 to devote himself to his family's mining and financial enterprises. He continued his father's interests in child welfare and prison reform and made distinguished contributions in industrial relations; he was a founder and the first president (1923–26) of the American Management Association and worked with the American Association for Labor Legislation, the U.S. Employment Service, and the New York City Industrial Relations Board. He was actively associated with the municipal reform movement and served as an officer of Citizen's Union of New York for many years. His cultural interests were expressed in art collecting and contributions to the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. He was prominent in Jewish communal affairs, including the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society, Jewish Child Care Association, Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York, and the United Jewish Appeal. Lewisohn was the author of New Leadership in Industry (1926), Painters and Personality (1937), and Human Leadership in Industry (1945). Sam Adolph married margaret seligman (1895–1954), the daughter of Isaac Newton *Seligman. Her principal activities were with the Public Education Association of New York, which she led for over 30 years. She was one of the founders of Bennington College in 1932 and also served as a trustee of Vassar College.


je (on Leonard); dab, 22 (1958), 383–4 (on Adolph); S. Birmingham, Our Crowd (1967); B.E. Supple, in: Business History Review, 31 (1957), 143–78; National Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. 11, 263–4 (on Sam Adolph); National Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. 44, 148 (on Margaret Seligman).

[Morton Rosenstock]