CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

LIPSCOMB, JAMES SAMUEL

LIPSCOMB, JAMES SAMUEL

LIPSCOMB, JAMES SAMUEL (15 Dec. 1923-5 June 1987) was the first executive director of the GEORGE GUND FOUNDATION. Under his leadership the foundation achieved national and international acclaim through its support of educational, artistic, social, economic, civic, and environmental programs.

Born in Jersey City, N.J., Lipscomb attended the Peddie School, graduated from Princeton University (1944), then served in the Navy until 1946. After receiving his M.B.A. from Harvard University (1948), Lipscomb remained as the dean's administrative assistant until 1951.

From 1951-1955 Lipscomb worked for Wachovia Bank and Rich Plan Corp. From 1955-1958 he was a partner in Amundsen-Lipscomb, an investment management company. Lipscomb was a business professor at the University of Ghana, 1958-1961, then returned to Harvard in 1961 as director of the International Teachers Program.

In 1963 Lipscomb became the Ford Foundation's representative philanthropoid in Egypt, spending 5 years planning, initiating, and implementing foundation grants. In 1969 Lipscomb was hired as the Gund Foundation's first paid employee. Lipscomb remained executive director until his death.

Lipscomb's experience abroad helped the Foundation evolve from giving grants to higher institutions to initiating and supporting community projects including innovative teaching methods through Project Perform, child and drug abuse prevention, juvenile justice, and inner-city housing. Lipscomb moved the Foundation to finance the initial study leading to the creation of CLEVELAND TOMORROW, a private economic development organization.

Lipscomb married Barbara Apostolacus in 1955. They had three children: William S. II, Joseph and Anne (Jewitt). Lipscomb lived in SHAKER HTS. and is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.


George Gund Foundation Records, WRHS.