WEIDENTHAL, LEO (23 Apr. 1878-8 May 1967), editor of the Jewish Independent and founder of CLEVELAND CULTURAL GARDENS FED., was born in Cleveland to Emanuel and Julia (Kretch) Weidenthal. He began his newspaper career as a reporter for the CLEVELAND WORLD; then for the CLEVELAND LEADER; then, in 1906, for the PLAIN DEALER, assigned to the city hall beat. In 1917 he became editor of the Jewish Independent, a weekly founded in 1906 by his brother Maurice, a former Plain Dealer and Press reporter. Leo's brother Henry was also a journalist, once managing editor of the Press and News.

Weidenthal spent much time cataloguing his large collection of books, autographs, and letters marking the history of the theater since the early 19th century. He was also an amateur painter and authored From Dis Waggon. Weidenthal was a founder of the Cleveland Chap. of the Natl. Conference of Christians & Jews (1933), was vice-president of the EARLY SETTLERS ASSOC., and is credited with suggesting a mounted police patrol. He was a critic of the modern freeway and worked to establish more parks and playgrounds. Until his retirement from the Jewish Independent in 1964, Weidenthal supposedly never took a vacation and worked 6 days a week, his only diversion being occasional weekends in New York City to attend plays. He received many honors, including a resolution passed by city council on 24 Sept. 1917 praising his service to the city during his 10 years as city hall reporter for the Plain Dealer. Weidenthal died a bachelor and was buried in the Mayfield Cemetery.


Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

View finding aid for the Leo Weidenthal Papers, WRHS. 

Article Categories