Milwaukee County Historical Society

Interview with Marianne and Sheldon Lubar, August 20, 2021

MCHS Oral History Collection
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00:00:25 - Backgrounds

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Partial Transcript: [John]: Where and when were you born?

Segment Synopsis: Marianne and Sheldon Lubar discuss their birthplaces as well as their parents' histories.

Keywords: Belarus; Childhood; Mt. Sinai Hospital; Stock Market Crash 1929

Subjects: 1930s; Family; Great Depression; Kenosha, WI

GPS: Link to map
Map Coordinates: Milwaukee, WI
00:04:49 - Childhood

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Partial Transcript: [John]: And so, what, uh, we'll continue with you Sheldon, what do you remember about your childhood and growing up?

Segment Synopsis: The Lubars describe their childhoods, school stories, and what they remembered.

Keywords: Sherman Park; Whitefish Bay High School

Subjects: Milwaukee, WI; Whitefish Bay, WI

GPS: Link to map
Map Coordinates: Milwaukee, WI
00:07:40 - Meeting Each Other/Dating

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Partial Transcript: [John]: That was my next question, how did you meet each other?

Segment Synopsis: The Lubars each describe their meeting in the college lunchroom from their own perspectives.

Keywords: College; Food Service; Lunch; University of Wisconsin; Waiter

Subjects: 1940s; Dating; Education; Family; Madison, WI

GPS: Link to map
Map Coordinates: Madison, WI
00:13:11 - First Date

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Partial Transcript: [John]: So what was your first date?

Segment Synopsis: The Lubars describe their first date involving a cigarette and contact lenses.

Keywords: Contact lenses; Draft; Smoking; Special Enlistment

Subjects: Dating; Korean War

00:16:57 - Marriage and Children

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Partial Transcript: [Marianne]: Right. [John]: So then, how long did you date before you got married? [Sheldon]: Not long.

Segment Synopsis: The Lubars speak on the context surrounding their marriage, with Sheldon's job in the Air Force having fallen through due to the end of the Korean War with a pregnant Marianne.

Keywords: Air Force; Children; Dating; Law School

Subjects: 1950s; Family; Korean War; Marriage

GPS: Link to map
Map Coordinates: Kenosha, WI
00:22:20 - Sheldon Finding a Job/Career in Banking

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Partial Transcript: [John]: So, Marianne kind of just alluded to the next thing, but let's kind of get into your career Sheldon.

Segment Synopsis: Sheldon Lubar goes deeper into his career, describing his winning of a Will Drafting competition, his search for a new position first at law firms, then with banks, eventually being hired on by the Marine National Exchange Bank. Marianne then argues that one reason it was so difficult for Sheldon to find a job was due to discrimination on account that he and his family were Jewish.

Keywords: Air Force; Estate Planning; Home Ownership; Jewish; Marine National Exchange Bank; Segregation; Will Drafting; Wisconsin Bankers Association; Wisconsin Bar Association

Subjects: Banking; Business; Career; Family; Law; Marriage

GPS: Link to map
Map Coordinates: Milwaukee, WI
00:31:28 - Sheldon Later Career/After Banking

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Partial Transcript: [John]: Let's wrap up the parts of your career, questions. At some point you ended up working for the government.

Segment Synopsis: Sheldon reflects on his career, noting that he loved what he did, and worked his way up. He then headed the bank's new Venture Capital company, moving onto another company that he acquired, which sold for $350 million. After this, he was called on by the White House to become the Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, Assistant Secretary for Housing and Urban Development.

Keywords: Dept. of Housing and Urban Development; Federal Housing Administration; Lawyer; Marine Capital; Mortgage Associates; Small Business Administration; Small Business Investment Act 1958; Work

Subjects: Banking; Business; Career

00:38:23 - Marianne Describing Home Life

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Partial Transcript: [John]: So, as Sheldon's career was progressing, what was life like for you, Marianne?

Segment Synopsis: Marianne describes what life was like at home while Sheldon's career was progressing. She talks about their adventures during their year abroad, and the move to Washington, being involved in politics.

Keywords: Bridge; Card games; Europe; Government work

Subjects: Domestic Life; Family; Travel; Washington DC; politics

GPS: Link to map
Map Coordinates: Washington DC
00:42:36 - Taking Risks

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Partial Transcript: [John]: Um, as far as you know career goes, and maybe this is a broader question that but do you; there's risks you have to take along the way and decisions you have to make, what are the values in taking risks and how in your life do you calculate those?

Segment Synopsis: Sheldon describes his perception of "taking risks", where his confidence in himself because of his belief that he had asked all of the right questions and prepared the right way led to his eventual success.

Keywords: Business; Curiosity; Risk

Subjects: Career; Success

00:44:43 - Philanthropy

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Partial Transcript: [John]: Why is philanthropy important to you?

Segment Synopsis: The Lubar's answer the question of why philanthropy is important to them. Sheldon believes it to be an obligation to his community as a result of his success, while Marianne was of the belief that her philanthropy was a form of entrepreneurship and creativity, never thinking about it as philanthropy.

Keywords: Community; Contributor; Mentorship; Nonprofit; Philanthropy

Subjects: Business; Education; Giving; Success

00:49:43 - Love of Milwaukee

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Partial Transcript: [John]: So first, we'll get the easy one out of the way, what are some of your favorite moments of Milwaukee?

Segment Synopsis: The Lubars (mostly Sheldon) describe their love of Milwaukee, identifying particular moments in their own histories that they love, and the reason why they stay.

Keywords: Climate; Home; Nostalgia; Water

Subjects: Milwaukee, WI; Whitefsh Bay, WI

00:51:54 - Lubars Legacy

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Partial Transcript: Um, so this Oral History is going into our archives, into our larger Oral History collection, and, years from now, you know, a hundred years from now, a researcher will be able to look back on this interview.

Segment Synopsis: The Lubars answer the question of how they want their histories to be remembered. Sheldon hopes that it will be that he was a man of integrity, and a man that people trusted enough to follow. Marianne wants people to know that she has loved and appreciated her life, and that her personal satisfaction is a blessing, and looks back on her immigrant family as an inspiration to her.

Keywords: History; Immigration; Integrity; Leadership; Oral History; Trust

Subjects: Career; Family; Success