Einstein, Lewis, 1877-1967Alternative names
Einstein, a diplomat, historian, and art critic, began his foreign service career in 1903 as the third secretary of the American Embassy in Paris. He was subsequently posted to positions in Britain, Turkey, China, and Costa Rica, and during World War I served as the American diplomatic representative in charge of British interests in Bulgaria. Einstein completed his diplomatic career as the U.S. Minister to Czechoslovakia from 1921-1930. He continued to live abroad in London and later Paris, where he died in 1967. Einstein wrote several volumes of poetry as well as articles and books on a broad range of subjects including American diplomatic history and contemporary foreign policy, Theodore Roosevelt, art, and the Italian Renaissance.
From the description of Lewis Einstein papers, 1808-1968, (bulk 1900-1968). (University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center). WorldCat record id: 32345822
Lewis Einstein was born in New York City in 1877 to a wealthy and prominent family. His grandfather owned a textile factory and his father, David, continued the family business. Lewis, along with his two sisters, was exposed to art, music, and literature. He received a BA and an MA degree in history from Columbia University in 1898-1899 and spent the next few years concentrating on researching and writing history.
Einstein then turned his attention to the diplomatic field. His broad cultural interests, historical background, knowledge of foreign languages, and his family’s close ties with the Republican Party made for a smooth transition into foreign service. His first appointment was as the Third Secretary of the American Embassy in Paris in 1903. While in Paris he met and married an English socialite named Helene Ralli. The couple moved to his next post in London in 1905. After London, Einstein was promoted to the position of Second Secretary of the American Legation in Constantinople, Turkey. He held this position from 1906-1908 and worked at easing restrictions placed on American missionaries working in Turkey. The post in Constantinople was elevated to an embassy in 1906, and Einstein was promoted to First Secretary in 1908. He was named to the Legation in Peking in 1909 and then to Costa Rica in 1911. He was removed from the diplomatic corps when Woodrow Wilson came to office in 1913, and he and Helene spent the next few years living in Florence, Italy. Einstein’s knowledge of Turkey and Eastern Europe made him a valuable commodity for the diplomatic corps during World War I, and he was soon appointed by William J. Bryan as a “Special Agent” to Constantinople in 1915. This was his most challenging post to date, as warfare made the situation very tense. The American Embassy looked after American interests and helped with relief efforts for starving Armenians, Syrians, and Jews.
After World War I, Einstein wrote several articles on American foreign policy, criticizing its policies and favoring a “balance of powers” between nations. Einstein found his way back into the diplomatic service by supporting Warren Harding’s presidential campaign. President Harding appointed Einstein as the Minister of the American Embassy in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1921. Einstein’s post dealt mostly with post-war economic matters such as debt repayment and trade tariffs. Einstein retired from this post in 1930, never to return to active diplomatic service. He spent his remaining years living in Paris with his wife and writing on diplomatic matters. He died at the age of 90 in 1967.
From the guide to the Lewis Einstein papers, 1808-1968, 1900-1968, (University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Diplomatic and consular service, American--Bulgaria|
|Diplomatic and consular service, American--China|
|World War, 1939-1945--Diplomatic history|
|World War, 1914-1918--Diplomatic history|
|Diplomatic and consular service, American|
|Diplomatic and consular service, American--Czechoslovakia|
|World War, 1939-1945--Causes|
|Diplomatic and consular service, American--Turkey|
|Diplomatic and consular service, American--France|
|Diplomatic and consular service, American--Great Britain|
|Diplomatic and consular service, American--Costa Rica|