BY GEORGE MEANY
Herbert H. Lehman was the ideal public servant. No other man I ever met, or ever heard of, was more worthy of that title.
He had none of the average politician's guile, the average diplomat's evasiveness, the average banker's greed or the average statesman's aloofness.
He was a quiet man, completely honest, filled with compassion for others, truly dedicated to the democratic process and determined to make it work for the public good.
As Governor, Herbert Lehman was a trail-blazer. He sought and found new ways to serve the people of New York, and the record of social welfare legislation passed during his administration is unsurpassed. As a United States Senator, he was the conscience of the Congress. In both positions, he served with absolute integrity and rare distinction.
Throughout his public life, he put the problems of people--all people everywhere--above all else. He understood their needs, shared their aspirations, helped them achieve their goals.
To him, there were no national boundaries that, by right, denied some the freedom others enjoyed. He insisted that freedom and liberty, political and economic self-determination must never tolerate artificial barriers of race, creed, color, sex or geography.
To him, freedom was the God-given right of all people and he was, therefore, the unrelenting, implacable foe of dictators or would-be dictators.
It was a rare privilege for me to have known and worked with Herbert Lehman. It was a great and lasting honor to have been his friend.
To all who contemplate a life of public service, I recommend adopting Herbert H. Lehman as the model. There has never been--and I fear may never again be--his equal.