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Paul H. Leffmann

Paul H. Leffmann
Paul Henry Leffmann was born in 1907. Raised in Hyde Park, Paul earned both an undergraduate degree in economics and his law degree at the University of Chicago. It was also at the University where he met his wife, Theo Hirsch, whom he married in 1933. Theo, who was an artist, died in 1996.

In 1937, Paul attended a birthday dinner in honor of his grandfather. In lieu of presents, the grandfather wanted family members to contribute money to help bring German Jews to the United States. Being the eldest grandchild, Paul had the task of organizing these efforts. So in keeping his grandfather's wishes, Paul traveled to Europe and helped to safely bring 21 people back to the States. Shortly after returning from Europe, Paul volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Forces, where he served in the intelligence division at a Florida base. During his service, he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

After the war, Paul returned to Chicago to practice law. In addition to working for several Chicago law firms, Paul also helped to run his family's citrus farm, often traveling to Florida to personally oversee the orange picking as well as handle the company's financial affairs.

Besides being a businessman and a notable attorney, Paul was also a well-known philanthropist. His outstanding generosity is demonstrated through his contribution to the University of Chicago for a lecture room and an endowment establishing a permanent Chair in its Law School. He also made contributions to the North Shore Senior Center and established six planned giving vehicles with the Jewish Federation. In 1998, Paul made a substantial gift to the Block Museum of Art on Northwestern University's Evanston Campus in honor of his late wife. The funds were used to rebuild a gallery for permanent displays of her visionary work.

A follower in his father's footsteps, Paul believed in doing things "generously and properly". His niece once said his involvement in business and law was indicative of his philosophy of life. Paul was instrumental in sharing his experiences and his wealth. Not only did he continue to support his community, he also inscribed a page in the Book of Generations encouraging others to share their legacies as well.

Paul Leffmann passed away in October 8 at age 95. He is survived by his only son, Harry Leffmann - and leaves a legacy of generosity and commitment to community.