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.

Lloyd1LeVine 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.”

Lloyd4He 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.


The Author

James Riordan

James Riordan

Rare is it that any author will have one of his books described as the definitive work on a particular subject, but such a distinction has been bestowed by critics on no less than four books written by James Riordan. The New York Times Bestseller Break on Through, Riordan’s biography of Doors lead singer Jim Morrison, has not only been called “the most objective, thorough and professional Morrison biography” by the Times Book Review but also named as one of the Ten All Time Best Rock Biographies by Riordan’s The Platinum Rainbow (written with Bob Monaco) was called “One of the best how-to books ever written” by the Los Angeles Daily News and “The ultimate career book on the music industry” by Recording, Engineer & Producer. Critics described Riordan’s The Bishop of Rwanda as “one of the most important books you’ll ever read.” and The Coming of the Walrus, Riordan’s novel about the 60s as “the definitive book on the era” and “a hilarious tale of a harrowing search for the greatest truth of all”. With the release of A Well Thought Out Scream and Madman in the Gate, Riordan pushed the boundaries again with poetry/song lyric books that contain hundreds of stunning, beautiful and poignant images from artists and photographers from all over the world. In the summer of 2013 a new edition of The Coming of the Walrus was released to rave reviews followed by The Kill Switch. The author of thirty-three books, James Riordan’s career began in the music industry where as a songwriter, manager, producer and concert promoter he worked with several well known artists. In 1976 he began writing a newspaper column, Rock-Pop, which he later syndicated. Riordan soon became one of America’s premier rock journalists with articles reaching millions of readers including those of Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy, Circus, Musician, and newspapers like The Chicago Daily News and The Kansas City Star. His reputation for relating on a one-to-one level soon led to interviews with George Harri-son, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Frank Zappa, The Doobie Brothers, Kenny Rogers, Barbra Mandrell, Crosby, Stills & Nash and countless others. His first book, The Platinum Rainbow (written with Bob Monaco in 1980) became the largest selling book ever written about the music business. The guide to “succeeding in the music business without selling your soul” was praised by Variety ,The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Las Vegas Sun, The Minneapolis Tribune, Billboard, Record World and many more. The Platinum Rainbow became an industry-wide phenomenon and interviews with James Riordan were aired on over 1200 radio stations and numerous television talk shows. Next Riordan collaborated with Pulitzer Prize winner Jason Miller on a mini-series for network television (The Irish) and a movie of the week for CBS (Bless Me Father). In June 1991, William Morrow & Co. published Break On Through to outstanding sales and reviews. Riordan worked as a consultant on Oliver Stone’s film of Morrison’s life, The Doors, which led to his writing Stone’s biography. Published by Hyperion /Disney in December 1995, Entertainment Weekly called STONE “an unflinching biography... enough spectacle to fill a month of daytime-TV talk shows.” The New York Post said reading the book was like “the sensory overload of watching all of Oliver Stone’s movies back to back.” Riordan was interviewed by Inside Edition, People Magazine, The Tom Snyder Show, and many others. From 1997-2000, Riordan created and co-starred in a local television program, Kankakee Valley Prime Time, which won six Crystal Communicators, three Tellys, and earned Riordan a Chicago/ Midwest Emmy Nomination for Writing the program. In the summer of 1999, James Riordan wrote, directed and starred in Maddance, an hour long dramatic project which won Crystal Communicators for Drama, Writing, Acting and Directing. On April 9, 2000, James’ 16 year old son, Jeremiah, was killed as a passenger in an accident that involved three drunk drivers. Shortly after this, James founded Make it Stick which works to warn teens of the dangers of substance abuse and publishes a magazine distributed to high school students. In 2001, he founded Jeremiah’s – A Place to be Yourself to give teens a place to hang out away from the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Force to close by its incredible growth rate, Jeremiah’s was recognized as one of the fastest growing and most successful teen centers in the United States. In 2004, Toastmasters International named Riordan Communicator of the Year for Central Illinois, the YMCA gave him their Service to Youth Award and the United Way named him the Outstanding Volunteer of Kankakee County. Returning to writing, Riordan went to Africa to write The Bishop of Rwanda, (with an intro by Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren). In November of 2006, Harper Collins released a new edition of Break On Through followed by The Coming of the Walrus (Image Workshop) in December and The Bishop of Rwanda (Thomas Nelson, Inc.) to rave reviews (“Powerful …plumbs the depths of God’s forgiveness and finds no bottom – Publisher’s Weekly). In 2011, he won the Pledge For Life Harold Award for his work with area youth. In the summer of 2012, Lee and Shane Stanley (Gridiron Gang) optioned Maddance as a feature film followed by Apothecary Films optioning The Kill Switch in 2013 and Omni Films optioning Final Service to film in May. Riordan joined the staff of the Mancow Syndicated Television and Radio show in January of 2014 and is now seen and heard across America on a weekly basis. His biography is included in Who’s Who in Entertainment , Who’s Who in Poetry and Contemporary Authors of America. James Riordan – Works Books The Kill Switch, novel with Andrew Dahlmaine, Stonegate Ink, 2013 The Coming of the Walrus, Trade Paperback Editn, Image Workshop 2012 Springboard To Heaven ( Jojo Sayson Adventure), Image Workshop, 2012 The Elijah Collection, novel collection with Bill Myers, Zondervan, 2011 The Well Thought Out Scream (Poetry/Art), Image Workshop Press, 2009 Madman in the Gate (Poetry/Art), Image Workshop Press, 2009 The Deadly Loyalty Collection, Forbidden Doors, Zondervan, 2009 The Ancient Forces Collection, Forbidden Doors, Zondervan, 2009 The Enemy Strikes with Bill Myers (Elijah Project series. Zondervan, 2009 Deception with Bill Myers (Book 2 Elijah Project series. Zondervan, 2009 The Bishop of Rwanda (Finding Forgiveness) Thomas Nelson, March 2007 Paperback Edition May, 2012 The Coming of the Walrus (What Really Happened in the '60s) IW, 2006 Break on Through (The Life & Death of Jim Morrison), Morrow, 1991. (New York Times Bestseller, Published in 5 languages, Hardcover, 5 Paperback Editions, Harper Trade Paperback November, 2006) Stone (The Controversies, Excesses & Exploits of a Radical Filmmaker), Disney/Hyperion,1995. (Published in 3 languages, Hardcover, Paperback Edition). Making It in the New Music Business, Writers Digest Books, 1987, (Second Edition, Revised and Updated 1991, Two Hardcover Editions) The Platinum Rainbow (How to Succeed in the Music Business Without Selling Your Soul) 250,000 copies with Bob Monaco, Swordsman Press, 1980, Twenty-Three Editions, Revised 1988) 25 Year Anniversary Edition, 2005 Capture the Wind (Microphones) w.Tom Lubin, Literary Mouse Press,1989 Private Biography of Russ Kalvin, founder of Kalvin Corp., 1990 Private Biography of Steve Stefano, founder of Joico Hair Products, 1993. Mystery of the Invisible Knight (Book 2 in the BloodHounds Series) with Bill Myers, Bethany House,1997. Matters of the Heart (The Life & Times of Edgar Cullman), Culbro, 1997. The Curse (Book 7 Forbidden Doors) with Bill Myers, Tyndale, 1997. The Undead (Book 8 Forbidden Doors) with Bill Myers, Tyndale, 1996. The Scream (Book 9 Forbidden Doors) with Bill Myers, Tyndale, 1998 The Ancients (Book 10 Forbidden Doors) with Bill Myers, Tyndale, 1999. The Cards (Book 11 Forbidden Doors Series) with Bill Myers, Tyndale,2000 Films Final Service, co-written with Gary Moore and based on his book, Omni Productions, to be filmed in May, 2014. Maddance, Writer/Director/Lead Actor, Search Engine Films, Simmcomm, 1999. (Winner of 4 Crystal Communicators including Best Drama, Screenplay, Director, Male Actor – Austin, TX.1999) Performance (The Life of Ingrid Bergman), Screenplay, Lancit Productions 1998. Returned to Author when film division closed)Rewritten2009 Shadowdancers, Story & Screenplay, Story with Bill Myers, 1997 Dr. Babylon, Story 1996. Air Guitar, Story & Screenplay, 1994 The Platinum Rainbow, Story & Screenplay, 1993 Television/Video Kankakee Valley Prime Time, Writer, Director, Producer, 1997-2000. (Nominated for Midwest/Chicago Emmy for Writing, 1998, 3 Telly Awards, 4 Crystal Communicators 1998-2000). Angels Among Us (The Amtrak City of New Orleans Train Disaster, Co- Producer, (Telly Award, 2000). River Valley Sports Authority, Producer, 1999-2003. I Hate The World (Hypnoises Music Video), Writer/Director/Producer, Crystal Communicator for Best Music Video Concept, 1998). The United Way (Video) Crystal Communicator for Best Video for a Charitable Organization, 1998.

If it isn't money and it isn't fame and it isn't sex... then what... God?

— James Riordan, 2000

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