Weil, A. Leo

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WEIL, A. LEO (1858–1938), U.S. lawyer and civic reformer. Weil was born in Keysville, Charlotte County, Virginia. He practiced law in Bradford, Pennsylvania, from 1879 until he moved to Pittsburgh in 1888. There he organized the Voters' League of Pittsburgh and was its president for almost 30 years. The league's purpose was to fight corruption in public office and ensure honest elections. Weil believed that if leaders were honest, the ills of society could be cured without radical changes, maintaining that religious teachings and the laws of the land were sufficient to supply the maximum good. One Voters' League campaign resulted in 149 indictments, and led to the abolition of the city's councils (150 members) and the establishment of a new nine-member body in its place. An investigation of the city's school system led to its reorganization and substantial improvement. Weil became known for his successes in these activities and was invited to help organize reforms in other states.

An active participant in Jewish life, Weil served on the board of Temple Rodef Shalom, Pittsburgh, and was its vice president. He was one of the incorporators of the American Jewish Committee and a member of the executive committee, as well as a trustee of the Jewish Publication Society of America. Weil was vice president of the National Municipal League, of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. He was on the executive committees of the Pennsylvania Civil Service Association and of the Federated Jewish Philanthropies of Pittsburgh.