Biography (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: In a career spanning six decades, Lippmann lucidly analyzed current events, advised statesmen, and was author of more than twenty books which perceptively examined the challenges confronting American democracy.
Walter Lippmann was born on September 23, 1889, in New York City, the only child of Jacob Lippmann, a wealthy clothing manufacturer and real estate broker, and Daisy Baum Lippmann, a cultivated graduate of Hunter College. Both parents were American-born, of German-Jewish ancestry. Encouraged to develop an appreciation of the arts, young Lippmann was taken by his parents nearly every summer to Europe, where he frequented the great museums.
When he was six years old, Lippmann entered Dr. Julius Sachs’s School for Boys, where he excelled in history, geography, French, and the classics. He also attended Temple Emanu-El, a fashionable Reform Jewish congregation. He was confirmed in 1904, yet his religious training had been minimal; as an adult, he displayed little attachment to his Jewish heritage.
With ambitions of becoming an art critic, Lippmann enrolled at Harvard in 1906. The disastrous 1908 fire in nearby Chelsea awakened Lippmann’s social consciousness. He joined volunteers who aided the impoverished victims, and he sought out the political writings of Karl Marx and others. He became the Harvard Socialist Club’s first president and wrote articles for...
(The entire section is 2659 words.)
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Walter Lippmann was born on September 23, 1889, into a German-Jewish family in New York City. He was the son of Jacob Lippmann, a clothing manufacturer, and Daisy (maiden name Baum) Lippmann. From 1896 to 1906, he was enrolled in Sachs school for boys. In 1906, he entered Harvard University, completing his degree in only three years. At Harvard, he found that he was excluded from the popular social clubs because he was Jewish. While still in college, he organized the Harvard Socialist Club. In 1909, Lippmann began graduate study at Harvard, working as a teaching assistant for George Santayana in the philosophy department. During this time, he worked as a reporter for Boston Common as well as for Everybody’s Magazine. In 1912, Lippmann had a short-lived stint in political life when he served as executive secretary to George R. Lunn, the socialist mayor of Schenectady, New York. Disillusioned with politics, he resigned his post after several months. His political concerns, however, were not abated, and soon afterward he joined the Socialist party of New York County. His first book, A Preface to Politics, was published in 1913. In 1914, he was invited to join the founding editors of the New Republic magazine. In 1917, he married Faye Albertson.
When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Lippmann was recruited to serve in various capacities, formulating war and peace policy. That year he left the New Republic to...
(The entire section is 593 words.)