Lehman, Herbert Henry

Lehman, Herbert Henry

(lē`mən), 1878–1963, American political leader, b. New York City. At first an executive of a textile firm, he became (1908) a partner in the family banking house of Lehman Brothers. In World War I he was assistant director of purchase, storage, and traffic of the U.S. army. He was finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1928, the year he was elected lieutenant governor of New York state. After serving another term as lieutenant governor, Lehman was elected (1932) governor of the state, succeeding Franklin Delano RooseveltRoosevelt, Franklin Delano
, 1882–1945, 32d President of the United States (1933–45), b. Hyde Park, N.Y. Early Life

Through both his father, James Roosevelt, and his mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt, he came of old, wealthy families.
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. He was reelected twice for two-year terms and in 1938 for a four-year term. In the course of Lehman's gubernatorial administrations, state income taxes were cut, a huge budgetary surplus was accumulated, and much liberal legislation was enacted. He refused to run again in 1942 and was appointed (1943) director of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. He resigned (1946) because of ill health. In a special senatorial election in 1949, he defeated John Foster DullesDulles, John Foster
, 1888–1959, U.S. secretary of state (1953–59), b. Washington, D.C.; brother of Allen Dulles, grandson of John Watson Foster, secretary of state under President Benjamin Harrison, and nephew of Robert Lansing, secretary of state under Woodrow
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 to fill the unexpired term of Robert F. WagnerWagner, Robert Ferdinand
, 1877–1953, American legislator, b. Germany. He arrived with his family in the United States in 1885 and grew up in poor surroundings in New York City.
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, Sr. Reelected in 1950, he was a leading liberal and an opponent of Senator Joseph R. McCarthyMcCarthy, Joseph Raymond,
1908–57, U.S. senator from Wisconsin (1947–57), b. near Appleton, Wis. He practiced law in Wisconsin and became (1940) a circuit judge. He served with the U.S. marines in the Pacific in World War II, achieving the rank of captain.
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. Retiring from the Senate in 1956, he continued to be a leader of the reform faction in the New York Democratic party.


See biographies by A. Nevins (1963) and D. Tananbaum (2016).

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