A Conversation with Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr.
Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr.
Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr., has had a distinguished career in both the private and public sectors. He served as Ambassador to Denmark during the Reagan administration.
Ambassador Loeb traces his American Jewish ancestry almost to the beginning of the history of Jews in America. His ancestor, Abraham Isaac, left Germany to settle in Charleston, South Carolina in 1699. Thus began his family tree of American Jews which flourished, living the American Dream, from the Colonial Times, through today.
In this interview, John Loeb brings to life his many ancestors (and other well-known Jewish figures), from the Colonial Times to the Revolutionary War (making him eligible to become a member of the Sons of the American Revolution), to the "Our Crowd" German Jews. He is a descendant of the Lehman and Loeb families. His mother --- Frances Lehman, a daughter of Arthur Lehman, married his father, John Loeb, Sr.
In this conservation with Larry Josephson, John Loeb Jr. also shares some of his challenges growing up in a privileged American Jewish family, including his own experience with anti-Semitism at the elite private school, Hotchkiss, in the 1940's.
Ambassador Loeb also talks about his work to collect and preserve American Jewish history, particularly early American Jewish life. One of his key projects has been the "Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. Database of Early American Jewish Portraits" on the web (www.ajhs.org) of every known portrait of American Jews before the 1865. As he says in the interview, "What's significant is that Jews were in our country before the American Revolution, participated in our country, held even political posts, military posts and fought and died for the American Revolution".