Man of the Year: Lloyd S. LeVine
Lloyd LeVine was recently honored as “A Hero Among Us” at the November 11th Veterans Day Observance at the Highland Park Library (Illinois). LeVine is one of the founders of the Jewish War Veterans North Shore Post #29 in Highland Park, which is the largest in Illinois. “The executive board consensus was to honor Lloyd, because he’s been an innovative leader,” said Michael Zimmerman, Post Commander.
LeVine attended Sullivan High School where he excelled in advanced classes, and was a boy scout. Years later he became the District Commissioner of Boy Scouts in Highland Park. After graduating from high school, LeVine became a pilot through the Civil Air Patrol, said Zimmerman. He went on active duty in 1946 after World War II.
Levine trained at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland where he developed equipment and weapons. He was stationed in Guam where he was involved in a battle with a group of Japanese who still hadn’t surrendered after the war. The Japanese had raided warehouses and killed a guard the week before.
After two years of active duty, LeVine was discharged and he came back to Chicago, where he attended the University of Chicago and majored in physics. “I went to school, but I also went ahead and started my own businesses. We worked very diligently with various people of all kinds — communists, fascists, and democrats as well as some of the old time republicans.”
He later became the founder of the Financial Planning Association of Illinois. He was one of the founders of the Highland Park chapter of the Jewish War Veterans Post #29. The Jewish War Veterans was founded in 1896 and is the oldest veterans’ organization in the country. Post #29 has members from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, and the Gulf War.
LeVine defines his values as “the Judeo/Christian concept of America as put forth by our founding fathers. That, to me, is wonderful. I fought for it and I try to fight for it every day even in my 80’s”
“I also really believe in loyalty to one’s friends,” LeVine continued. “That’s something I learned not only in the Army but also the Boy Scouts.”
Lloyd LeVine was the District Commissioner of Boy Scouts in Highland Park from 1967 through 1971 and his two sons became boy scouts. He is also on the executive board of the American Legion Post #145 which is the largest organization for veterans in the country. Out of all of LeVine’s accomplishments, he maintains that “The greatest thing I ever did was marry Joyce.” The couple met at a temple dance, and they have been married for 66 years. They have lived in the same house in Highland Park since the beginning of their marriage, a house which Lloyd built.
For inspiration and guidance, Levine “looks to the great books and also the founding fathers specifically Washington and Jefferson. I have read the Koran. I have read the New Testament, the Old Testament. As you know, we’re Jewish”
Levine defines freedom as “being able to do anything you want to as long as you don’t hurt anybody else. “
One of Lloyd LeVine’s first jobs after returning from the war was doing chemical quality control in the manufacturing of cathode ray tubes. He was employed by American Television, Inc. of Chicago and worked closely with Deforest-Sanabria whom many credit with popularizing television. LeVine also worked for Sears, managed a taxicab company and was a major property developer for many years, something which he is still active in. He is also still active and on the board of many companies,
LeVine is not pleased with the state of America today. “I’ve been very unhappy with the way it’s been going,” he said. “I was a democrat for a number of years. In fact, I sat right behind Harry Truman when he got nominated for vice president. My father was a dentist, but he was very politically involved here in Chicago. I can tell you that I’m very unhappy with what’s going on with the division of the country. I have been very much involved with helping black people over the years, because, as a Jew, I understand about being discrimination. I think everyone should be able to live up to their own potential if they’re black, white, purple, or pink, just as long as you’re a good American. People have to think about the good of the whole, instead of trying to advance a particular political party, or a particular station in life or a particular religion. You have to look to everybody and let them do their own thing as long as they don’t hurt anybody else. We all can work together and make this back into the greatest nation in history which is what we were after World War II. We developed the American Dream Foundation about three years ago and the goal of that is to bring America back to the way the founding fathers designed it to be and also to bring back an awareness of patriotism and love and respect for your country to the younger generation.”
When asked if he was excited about accepting the “Hero Among Us” award, Lloyd Levine humbly replied, “I thought there were other people who deserved it more.” Lloyd Levine is the kind of man who made America great – a man of value.