The Straus Family: A History of Public Service and Philanthropy (G-2)

Title

The Straus Family: A History of Public Service and Philanthropy (G-2)

Description

Beginning in the 19th Century and continuing into the 20th, members of the Straus Family have served in governmental positions at the federal and local levels. More particularly, family members have served in the House of Representatives, as Ambassadors, and as Presidential Cabinet Members. By virtue of their positions, as well as a consequence of their acting as advisors and confidants to a number of American Presidents, family members have been actively involved in the formulation of American public policy for well over 100 years.
 
Furthermore, in the context of American finance and commerce, family members were the owners of Macy's for nearly 100 years. In addition to their participation in the commercial development of the City of New York and America in general, family members have been in a position to assist others less fortunate throughout this period of time. Members of the family have served on the boards of innumerable philanthropic organizations. As a consequence of the family's involvement in this broad spectrum of American life, the family exemplifies and brings to life the true American story and its spirit.
 
Thus, it is not so much the story of one family that is sought to be told, but rather the American experience as seen through and lived by a family during this period of growth of America.
 
Source: www.straushistoricalsociety.org

Collection Items

Sarah Lavanburg Straus: Clara de Hirsch Home for Working Girls
In 1887, when Oscar S. Straus (1850-1926) was minister to Constantinople, he and his wife Sarah Lavanburg Straus (1861-1945) became friendly with Baron Maurice de Hirsch and his wife Clara. The Baron, considered the fifth wealthiest man in Europe at…

Sarah Lavanburg Straus: African Expedition
Sarah Lavanburg Straus (1861-1945), widow of Oscar S. Straus, went to Africa in 1929 at the age of 68 on a group bird collection expedition for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Some of the territory traveled through was so…

Oscar S. Straus: Henry Ward Beecher Letter to Grover Cleveland
Oscar S. Straus (1850-1926) was the youngest of Lazarus and Sara Straus’ four children; Isidor, Hermine, Nathan and Oscar. His career as a public servant has been well documented. He was America’s two-time Minister to Constantinople and Ambassador to…

Oscar S. Straus: International Court of Arbitration at The Hague
Oscar S. Straus wanted to be appointed to the court of arbitration at The Hague. The court had been established at the 1899 peace conference but existed only as a panel of judges appointed by each nation. He was finally appointed by President…

Oscar S. Straus (1850-1926)
Oscar S. Straus (1850-1926) is noted for his brilliant professional life. He was one of America's first career diplomats; serving his country under four administrations including Cleveland, McKinley, T. Roosevelt and Taft: both Democrat and…

Sissie Straus Lehman (1879-1950)
Sissie Straus Lehman (1879-1950) was the daughter of Nathan and Lina Gutherz Straus. In 1901 she married Irving Lehman (1876-1945). In 1940, Irving became the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York State. He…

Nathan Straus Jr. (1889-1961)
Nathan Straus Jr. (1889-1961) was the son of Nathan and Lina Gutherz Straus. He was not interested in going into the family's business of merchandising. He graduated from Princeton University in New Jersey in 1910 and, with his father's help, secured…

Nathan Straus: Milk Depot
After the Civil War, there was some recognition that the quality of the milk sold to the city's poor was substandard. Small, but unsuccessful, efforts were made to improve sanitary conditions. Milk continued to be an agent that carried diphtheria,…

Nathan Straus: Loving Cup
From the New York Times, August 6th, 1911 “Honor for Nathan Straus – Six Hundred Guests Give Him a Loving Cup at Hotel Kaaterskill. Six hundred admirers of the philanthropic work of Nathan Straus of New York presented him with a silver loving cup at…

Nathan Straus: Jerusalem Health Center
Upon touring the Mediterranean in 1904, Nathan (1848-1931) and Lina Straus (1854-1930) stopped over in Palestine, expecting it to be but one stop of many. He wrote, "On reaching Jerusalem, we changed our plans. All that we saw in the Holy Land made…
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