Scope and Content
Title: Albert D. Lasker papers
Inclusive Dates: 1881-2015
Bulk Dates: 1920-1950
Collection Number: mssLasker papers
Lasker, Albert Davis, 1880-1952
Approximately 4,050 items in 38 boxes
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Fax: (626) 449-3477
Abstract: The collection reflects broadly the professional life of American businessman and philanthropist Albert D. Lasker, as well
as other family members including Mary Lasker, Edward Lasker, Frances Lasker Brody, and Mary Lasker Block.
Language of Material: The records are in English.
Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the
Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to following
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to
quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such
activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is
one, and obtaining permission rests with the researcher.
[Identification of Item], Albert D. Lasker papers, The Huntington
Library, San Marino, California.
Gifts of Christopher Brody and Steven Lasker, October 2012.
Albert D. Lasker was an American businessman who is often considered to be the founder of modern advertising. Lasker, who
was Jewish, was born in Germany in 1880 and raised in Galveston, Texas. In 1898 he moved to Chicago and got an advertising
position at Lord & Thomas. In 1903, after Lord retired, Lasker purchased his share and became a partner. He purchased the
firm in 1912. Lasker worked on and created advertising for several large companies including: Lucky Strikes, Palmolive, Pepsodent,
Kotex, and Kleenex. In 1921, President Harding appointed Lasker to the United States Shipping Board; he served for two years.
After thirty years at Lord & Thomas, Lasker sold the firm to three senior executives. Lasker and his third wife, Mary, became
nationally prominent art collectors and philanthropists. Together they founded and endowed the Lasker Award, which has recognized
the work of many leading scientists and researchers, particularly in the field of medical research. His uncle was German liberal
politician Eduard Lasker. Albert D. Lasker died in 1952.
Albert D. Lasker married Flora Warner in 1902. They had three children, all of whom became prominent figures in their fields
of interest: Mary Lasker Block (b.1904) established the Block Museum in Chicago along with her husband Leigh B. Block; Edward
Lasker (b.1912) was a successful businessman, lawyer, and thoroughbred racehorse owner; and Frances Lasker Brody (b.1916),
art collector and philanthropist, became a founding benefactor of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and a guiding patron
of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Gardens. After the sudden death of his wife, Flora, in 1936, Lasker was briefly
married to actress Doris Kenyon. In 1940, Lasker married Mary Reinhardt; they were married until his death.
Scope and Content
The collection spans Albert D. Lasker's entire life and his family up to the 21st century. The majority of the collection
is made up of interviews and research conducted by Boyden Sparkes, who Albert D. Lasker had hired to ghost-write his autobiography
in 1938 (not for publication). This includes interviews with Lasker himself, family members, colleagues, and fellow businessmen,
and covers Lasker's early life and his career in both advertising, art collecting, and philanthropy. There is also some material
about Lasker's involvement in the defense of Leo Frank, a Jewish American factory superintendent, in Georgia, who was convicted
of the murder of a 13-year-old girl; Frabk was ultimately taken from prison and lynched in August 1915. There is also material
about Lasker's family including: his first wife Flora, their three children (and their families), his brief marriage to Doris
Kenyon, and his third wife Mary Woodard Lasker. There is also some material about his father Morris Lasker and his life in
Galveston, Texas. There is a small amount of material about Edward Lasker's career with horse racing and about his second
wife American actress Jane Greer.
The collection includes a large amount of ephemera, scrapbooks, photograph albums, and loose (and framed) photographs and
portraits. Also included are several audio-visual items, published books, and a Grammy Award.
Many of the photographs in the photograph albums are loose or coming loose.
The collection is arranged in the following series: Albert D. Lasker Material (Boxes 1-9); Lord & Thomas Material (Boxes 10-11);
Family Files (Boxes 12-16); Photographs/Scrapbooks (Boxes 17-32); Ephemera (Boxes 33-35); Audio-Visual Material (Box 36);
and Books (Boxes 37-38). The material is arranged in alphabetical order within each series.
Block, Leigh B., 1905-1987
Block, Leigh B., Mrs., 1904-
Brody, Frances Lasker
Brody, Sidney F.
Frank, Leo, 1884-1915
Greer, Jane, 1924-2001
Howard, Roy Wilson, 1883-1964
Kenyon, Doris, 1897-1979
Lasker, Albert Davis, 1880-1952 -- Archives
Lasker, Eduard, 1829-1884
Lasker, Edward, 1912-1997
Lasker, Morris, 1840-1916
Rubicam, Raymond, 1892-1978
Sparkes, Boyden, 1890-1954
American Tobacco Company
Lord & Thomas
Advertising agencies -- Illinois -- Chicago
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- United States
Businessmen -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Archives
Jews -- United States
Philanthropists -- United States -- Archives
Family papers -- United States -- 20th
Personal papers -- United States -- 20th
Professional papers -- United States -- 20th
Research (document genres) -- United States -- 20th