Leo Cherne was born on September 8, 1912 in New York City. He received a B.A. from New York University in 1931, and an LL.B. from New York University Law School in 1934. Cherne, an economist, first gained prominence in the private sector, as Executive Director of the Research Institute of America (and later a consultant), 1936 to 1990; Chairman of the Executive Committee of Freedom House, 1946 to 1976; and Chairman of the International Rescue Commission, 1951 to 1991. He maintained these positions for the greater part of his career. Cherne also served many Presidents, from Roosevelt to Bush, in a variety of capacities. These roles were primarily on an intermittent consultant basis, and included service as economic advisor to General Douglas MacArthur in 1946, memberships on the U.S. Select Committee for Western Hemisphere Immigration (1967-1968) and the U.S. Advisory Commission on International Educational and Cultural Affairs (1971-1976), as well as his activities on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (1973-1977, 1981-1990) and the Intelligence Oversight Board (1976 to 1977). He was an honorary faculty member and member of the Board of Advisers, for the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, 1946 to 1952; a lecturer at the New School for Social Research; and Chairman of the Citizens Commission on Indo-Chinese Refugees since 1978. He was also a sculptor, producing bronze sculptures of famous statesman such was Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and John F. Kennedy. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984. Cherne died on January 12, 1999.
From the description of Cherne, Leo, 1912-1999 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10573760