VAIL, HERMAN LANSING (6 July 1895-7 Jan. 1981), lawyer and newspaper publisher, was born in Cleveland to Sarah A. Wickham and HARRY L. VAIL, earned an A.B. from Princeton University in 1917 and an LL.B. from Harvard University Law School in 1922, being admitted to the Ohio bar in 1922. Vail was a partner in the law firm of Sayre, Vail, Steele & Renkert, and later senior partner in the firm of Vail, Steele, Howland & Olson. A lifelong Republican, Vail served 2 terms (1929-33) in the Ohio legislature, where he was chairman of the House Tax Committee; and in 1934 and 1935 was a member of the Ohio Special Joint Taxation Commission. He served on the BRATENAHL Village Council from 1933-51, as president from 1940. Vail became involved in FOREST CITY PUBLISHING CO., publisher of the PLAIN DEALER, as a trustee representing the Holden family. His first wife, Delia, was a granddaughter of LIBERTY E. HOLDEN, owner of the newspaper. In 1941 Vail was named a director of Forest City, and in 1962 he succeeded Stanley E. Graham as president, serving until 1970. He was also president of Art Gravure Corp. of Ohio. Vail was chairman of the NORTHERN OHIO OPERA ASSOC., president of WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, the CITIZENS LEAGUE, and the CLEVELAND COUNCIL ON WORLD AFFAIRS. Vail married Delia B. White in 1922 and had 2 sons, Herman, Jr., and Thomas. Delia died in 1952. In 1965, Vail married Mary Louise Gleason.

Finding aid for the Herman Lansing Vail Family Papers. WRHS.

Article Categories