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LANG, H. JACK

LANG, H. JACK (24 June 1904 - 30 Aug. 1996) was an advertising executive, editor and author, and philanthropist. He was born in Cleveland to Rosetta "Setta" (Stettiner) Lang, a Red Cross volunteer, and Charles E. Lang, a partner in the automotive firm Rauch & Lang [see BAKER MATERIALS HANDLING CO.]. He graduated from Antioch College in 1928, and founded the H. Jack Lang Company in 1932, which became LANG, FISHER & STASHOWER, INC., in 1937, and merged into LIGGETT-STASHOWER, INC. in 1987. In August 1942, Lang took leave as president of Lang, Fisher & Stashower, Inc., to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving in India and attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1945.

In order to reach potential customers for his first advertising client, the Wolf Envelope Company, Lang conceived of The Wolf Magazine of Letters, a monthly booklet of witty correspondence which he edited for about 60 years, and which led to an additional career as editor and author. He edited several volumes of collected letters, including The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln (1941), Letters in American History (1982), and Dear Wit (1990). In 1964, he compiled a collection of letters written by American presidents from George Washington to Lyndon B. Johnson, and the series was syndicated to newspapers through the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. The Freedoms Foundation awarded Lang the George Washington Honor Medal for Letters of the Presidents in 1964, and for Lincoln's Log Cabin Library in 1965. Lang sold his interest in the ad agency in 1967, but continued working until his retirement in 1972, after which he maintained an office at the agency where he did his editing until a few months before he died. Lang was elected to the Cleveland Advertising Hall of Fame (see CLEVELAND ADVERTISING CLUB) in 1977, and his Rowfant Manuscripts was named one of the best books of 1979 by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. He served as a trustee of Antioch College, of Planned Parenthood, and of Mt. Sinai Medical Center, and was a member of the Rowfant Club, the Oakwood Club, and the City Club. Lang married Frances Elizabeth Wise in 1935 and the couple had two children, Wendy Frances and John Andrew. The Langs donated a collection of correspondence by American presidents, world leaders, and authors to Case Western Reserve University. Lang died at his Cleveland Heights home and is buried at Mayfield Cemetery.

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