Lasker, Albert Davis, 1880-1952

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Advertising executive.

From the description of Reminiscences of Albert Davis Lasker : oral history, 1950. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309736545

Albert Davis Lasker was born in Freiberg, Germany, on May 1, 1880, but was raised in Galveston, Texas. He was the third child of Morris Lasker, an investor and banker, and Nettie Davis Lasker.

Lasker was initially interested in journalism, and worked as a newspaper reporter during his teens. His father disapproved of this career, and in 1898 secured a position for him at Lord & Thomas, an advertising firm in Chicago. Lasker rose quickly at Lord & Thomas, becoming a partner in 1903, and sole owner within the next decade. He ultimately sold the firm to his partners and retired from active business at the end of 1942. Considered a pioneer in modern advertising, the firm's clients included Kotex, Lucky Strike, Pepsodent, Kleenex, Palmolive, Studebaker, Sunkist, RCA, and Frigidaire.

Lasker's interests were not limited to the world of advertising. From 1916-1925, he was part owner of the Chicago Cubs. Indeed, the Lasker plan for the reorganization of baseball after the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal paved the way for the election of the sport's first commissioner in 1920. He also supported the University of Chicago. He donated his private golf course to the university, and also gave one million dollars to establish the Lasker Foundation for Medical Research in 1928. He served as a trustee of the university from 1937-1942.

In addition to sports and education, Lasker also had an interest in politics that spanned some 34 years. Although he was a Republican, he served in both Republican and Democratic administrations. In 1917, he served as a special assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture under President Woodrow Wilson. He served as an Assistant to the Chairman of the National Republican Committee from 1918-1920, and worked on the campaign and election of President Warren Harding. He then served as the Chair of the United States Shipping Board from 1920-1923. Later, he was a floor leader for the Illinois delegation to the Republican National Convention in 1940.

Concerned with Jewish affairs on both a local and national level in the early 1940s, Lasker was the director of the Jewish Charities of Chicago and a member of the executive board of the American Jewish Committee. In memory of his father, who had an interest in agriculture for Jews, Lasker and other family members purchased farming land in Pennsylvania that allowed for the training of poor Jewish immigrants in agriculture. He also donated to Hadassah and other organizations. In 1950, he and his wife made a trip to Israel, which he described as the highlight of his life.

A renowned philanthropist, Lasker founded the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation with his wife in 1942, dedicated to the support of biomedical research for curing disease and improving human life. The foundation presents annual awards recognizing those who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of human disease. The awards are considered to be among the most prestigious in medical science. In 1944, Lasker was the primary force behind a fundraising drive to increase the money spent on cancer research in the United States. He was also interested in federal involvement in medical issues, and was involved in efforts to create national health insurance and a national fund for medical education during the Truman administration.

Lasker died of cancer on May 30, 1952, in New York City.

From the description of Albert Lasker papers, 1928-1952 bulk dates 1946-1952. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 265034834

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Albert Davis Lasker was born in Freiberg, Germany, on May 1, 1880, but was raised in Galveston, Texas. He was the third child of Morris Lasker, an investor and banker, and Nettie Davis Lasker.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Lasker was initially interested in journalism, and worked as a newspaper reporter during his teens. His father disapproved of this career, and in 1898 secured a position for him at Lord & Thomas, an advertising firm in Chicago. Lasker rose quickly at Lord & Thomas, becoming a partner in 1903, and sole owner within the next decade. He ultimately sold the firm to his partners and retired from active business at the end of 1942. Considered a pioneer in modern advertising, the firm's clients included Kotex, Lucky Strike, Pepsodent, Kleenex, Palmolive, Studebaker, Sunkist, RCA, and Frigidaire.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Lasker's interests were not limited to the world of advertising. From 1916-1925, he was part owner of the Chicago Cubs. Indeed, the Lasker plan for the reorganization of baseball after the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal paved the way for the election of the sport's first commissioner in 1920. He also supported the University of Chicago. He donated his private golf course to the university, and also gave one million dollars to establish the Lasker Foundation for Medical Research in 1928. He served as a trustee of the university from 1937-1942.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In addition to sports and education, Lasker also had an interest in politics that spanned some 34 years. Although he was a Republican, he served in both Republican and Democratic administrations. In 1917, he served as a special assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture under President Woodrow Wilson. He served as an Assistant to the Chairman of the National Republican Committee from 1918-1920, and worked on the campaign and election of President Warren Harding. He then served as the Chair of the United States Shipping Board from 1920-1923. Later, he was a floor leader for the Illinois delegation to the Republican National Convention in 1940.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Concerned with Jewish affairs on both a local and national level in the early 1940s, Lasker was the director of the Jewish Charities of Chicago and a member of the executive board of the American Jewish Committee. In memory of his father, who had an interest in agriculture for Jews, Lasker and other family members purchased farming land in Pennsylvania that allowed for the training of poor Jewish immigrants in agriculture. He also donated to Hadassah and other organizations. In 1950, he and his wife made a trip to Israel, which he described as the highlight of his life.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED A renowned philanthropist, Lasker founded the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation with his wife in 1942, dedicated to the support of biomedical research for curing disease and improving human life. The foundation presents annual awards recognizing those who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of human disease. The awards are considered to be among the most prestigious in medical science. In 1944, Lasker was the primary force behind a fundraising drive to increase the money spent on cancer research in the United States. He was also interested in federal involvement in medical issues, and was involved in efforts to create national health insurance and a national fund for medical education during the Truman administration.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Lasker died of cancer on May 30, 1952, in New York City.

From the guide to the Albert Lasker Papers, 1928-1952, (bulk dates 1946-1952)., (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn J. Walter Thompson Company. Biographical Information, 1916-1998 (bulk 1960s-1980s) David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn O'Laughlin, John Callan, 1873-1949. Papers of John Callan O'Laughlin, 1895-1949. Library of Congress
referencedIn Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. Lasker Award Archives, 1944-87 (bulk 1962-1987). National Library of Medicine
creatorOf Lasker, Albert Davis, 1880-1952. Reminiscences of Albert Davis Lasker : oral history, 1950. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Roy Dikeman Chapin Papers, 1886-1945, 1910-1936 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn The Hadassah Medical Organization Papers in the Hadassah Archives, 1918-2009 Hadassah the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
referencedIn Chicago White Sox (Baseball team). Chicago White Sox and 1919 World Series baseball scandal collection, 1917-1929 (bulk 1920-1924). Chicago History Museum
creatorOf Records of the U.S. Shipping Board. 1914 - 1939. Records of Commissioner Albert D. Lasker
referencedIn Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation - Albert Lasker Awards Archives, 1944- History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine
referencedIn Lasker, Mary. Mary Lasker papers, 1940-1993. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Lasker, Albert Davis, 1880-1952. Albert Lasker papers, 1928-1952 bulk dates 1946-1952. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Gunther, John. Papers, 1935-1967 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn William Shepherd Benson Papers, circa 1791-1952, (bulk 1915-1928) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn National League Office. National League Files: Reorganization of Baseball : papers 1918-1921. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, NBHOF
referencedIn Howe, E.W. E. W. Howe Papers, 1872-1969. Houghton Library
referencedIn Benson, William Shepherd, 1855-1932. William Shepherd Benson papers, circa 1791-1952 (bulk 1915-1928). Library of Congress
referencedIn Arthur H. Vandenberg papers, 1884-1974, 1915-1951 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Gunther, John, 1901-1970. John Gunther papers, 1935-1967 (inclusive) University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Roy Wilson Howard Papers, 1911-1966, (bulk 1920-1963) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn John Callan O'Laughlin Papers, 1895-1949 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Albert Lasker Papers, 1928-1952, (bulk dates 1946-1952). Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Mary Lasker Papers, 1940-1993. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Reis, Bernard J., 1895-1978. Bernard J. Reis papers, 1934-1979. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn The Hadassah Medical Organization Papers in the Hadassah Archives, 1918 - 2009 Hadassah
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Albertson, Dean, 1920-, person
correspondedWith Benson, William Shepherd, 1855-1932. person
associatedWith Chapin, Roy D. (Roy Dikeman), 1880-1936 person
associatedWith Chicago White Sox (Baseball team) corporateBody
associatedWith Committee for the Nation's Health. corporateBody
associatedWith Gunther, John, 1901-1970. person
associatedWith Gunther, John, 1929-1947 person
associatedWith Howard, Roy Wilson, 1883-1964 person
correspondedWith Howe, E. W. (Edgar Watson), 1853-1937 person
associatedWith J. Walter Thompson Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Lasker, Mary. person
associatedWith National Fund for Medical Education (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National League Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Nevins, Allan, 1890-1971, person
correspondedWith O'Laughlin, John Callan, 1873-1949. person
associatedWith Reis, Bernard J., 1895-1978. person
associatedWith Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago Lasker Foundation for Medical Research. corporateBody
associatedWith Vandenberg, Arthur H. (Arthur Hendrick), 1884-1951 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
Subject
Philanthropists
Journalism
Advertising
Executives--Interviews
National health insurance--Law and legislation
Philanthropists--United States
National health insurance--Law and legislation--United States
Baseball
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1880-05-01

Death 1952-05-30

English

Information

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