Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr.
I am John L. Loeb Jr. and I’d like to welcome you to the Loeb Visitors Center at the Touro Synagogue. The Touro Synagogue is an American treasure, the oldest active synagogue in the United States. I am a descendent of the Touro family, so it holds great personal significance for me.
This synagogue and its early congregation are considered icons of American religious freedom because of the important letter that George Washington sent to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport in 1790. That letter directly affirmed the principle of religious liberty based on the separation of church and state that is guaranteed to every one of us through the Bill of Rights. The building stands as a physical manifestation and reminder of the event and of the concepts embodied in the letter.
Both this website and the exhibits in the Loeb Visitors Center tell the story of this historical landmark, its architectural beauty and its symbolic role in the development of American Democracy.
—Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr.
Mr. Loeb is currently chairman of John L. Loeb, Jr. Associates, Inc., Investment Counselors. He serves as chairman of the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States and the John L. Loeb, Jr. Foundation. He is the founder and chairman of the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom, which recently completed the building and opening of the Loeb Visitors Center on the campus of Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island. Ambassador Loeb is a vice chairman of the Council of American Ambassadors. He is a trustee of the Langeloth Foundation and the American‑Scandinavian Foundation.
Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. and his wife, Sharon
Every year the American Jewish Historical Society presents its most prestigious honor, the Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award, to an individual or group whose contribution reflects the highest values of the American Jewish community.
In November, 2015, Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr. was honored as the recipient of the Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award at a gala dinner in New York City. Loeb received the award in recognition of his lifetime of contributions to preserving American Jewish history and his support for religious freedom. Previous recipients of this prestigious honor include Henry Kissinger, Beverly Sills, Felix Rohatyn and Edgar M. Bronfman.
He was a trustee of the Educational Testing Service (SAT) from 1986–1993 and a trustee of the American University from 1985–1994. He has served on seven Harvard visiting committees including the board of Overseers of Harvard College to visit the John F. Kennedy School of Government (1980–1986), and the board of Overseers of the Harvard College Committee to visit the Harvard Business School (1968–1979).
Ambassador Loeb earned his B.A. cum laude in 1952 from Harvard College where he was an editor of the Harvard Lampoon. In 1954, he received his M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. He was a senior partner in Loeb, Rhoades & Co. from 1956–1976, and chairman of the Board of Holly Sugar from 1969–1971. He has served as a director of Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer, Rio Grande Industries and John Morrell & Co., among other corporations. He currently owns the Russian Riverbend Vineyards Ltd., which produces Sonoma-Loeb wines.
He was the U.S. ambassador to Denmark from 1981–1983 and a delegate to the 38th Session of the UN General Assembly. An advisor to Governor Nelson Rockefeller on Environmental and Economic Affairs from 1967-1970, he served as chairman of the Governor’s New York State Council of Environmental Advisors from 1970–1975. From 1954–1956, he served as 1st Lt. in the United States Air Force and was stationed at the Air Force’s Plant Representative Office in the Douglas Aircraft Co., Long Beach, California.
Among his numerous awards and recognitions are the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Award and the Distinguished Patriot Award of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was named the John Clarke Laureate by the John Clarke Society. He received the designation of C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 for his work with the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States. Ambassador Loeb is also a Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog, received from Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. He holds an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Georgetown University. He is a member of the Society of Colonial Wars and the Sons of the American Revolution.
The most recent in a series of books about the Loeb and Lehman families, An American Experience: Adeline Moses Loeb and Her Early American Jewish Ancestors, was launched in May, 2009 to great acclaim. It is a book about Ambassador Loeb’s grandmother and traces his ancestors and relations back three centuries in America including the Touros of Newport, Rhode Island.