Klutznick, Philip Morris

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Klutznick, Philip Morris
Philip Klutznick was many things in his life: a visionary builder, diplomat, philanthropist, and civic leader. 

His first leadership roles occurred in Aleph Zadik Aleph, where he helped charter the second AZA chapter, Greater Kansas City, in 1924. The next year, as the organization continued to expand, he was selected as the second Grand Aleph Godol. 

Klutznick graduated from Creighton University with a bachelor of law degree and then became involved in construction. He helped build homes for defense workers during World War II and later partnered with Marshall Field & Company to build department stores. His business success afforded him the opportunity to work in civil service. A three-month term as a United Nations delegate eventually led to the rank of ambassador on the UN Economic and Social Council. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter selected Klutnick to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, partly for his role in the Arab-Israeli peace talks.

Klutznick’s continued involvement with B’nai B’rith included two three-year terms as president, where he oversaw worldwide growth of the organization. He worked to strengthen lodges in post-war Europe and Israel, advocating that German reparations should fund Jewish organizations.     

He also served as president of the World Jewish Congress, chairman of the Public Affairs Committee of the United Jewish Fund, and president of the Chicago Bulls basketball team.

Klutnick died of Alzheimer’s disease on August 14, 1999.
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