Speaker’s Suggested Introduction:
Our speaker today is Len Lamensdorf. After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School where he was an editor of the Law Review, he got married and he and his wife headed off to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Len worked for the American Law Institute Tax Project at Harvard. Len says that was not the most exciting job he ever held. After that Len and his wife took off for Europe, where they drove a tiny Renault across he continent, not returning to the U.S. until, 3 1/2 months later when they had run out of money. Len had offers from a major New York tax law firm and the Justice department. Instead he joined a private development business which built some major shopping malls in the Midwest.
But all his life, Len thought of himself as a writer. After many disappointments, Simon & Schuster published his novel, Kane’s World, and Delacorte published another of his works. But Len tired of the Literary establishment and began to write books for his own little company. He has now published 9 novels, written three full-length plays and written and produced a feature film called Cornbread, Earl & Me. The film became an icon in the Civil rights community. It tells the story of a young black man, an athlete, who is gunned down by cops who mistake him for a murderer they are chasing. It’s story is so relevant, it is being remade this year.
Len’s books won multiple Benjamin Franklin Awards, IPPy’s and ForeWord Books of the Year. His historical novel, The Ballad of Billy Lee, George Washington’s favorite Slave, was acclaimed by Pulitzer Prize winning historians, Joseph J. Ellis, and Ron Chernow, who is now famous as historical consultant for “Hamilton,” the Broadway musical that won 11 Tony Awards.
Len and his family traveled many times to countries on 5 continents. He visited the Holy Land,. walking, literally in the steps of Jesus of Nazareth. This inspired Len to write an historical novel. He set this aside for decades and very recently decided to take up the project. I’ll let him tell you why. Len’s novel has many challenging elements, and he understands that some readers may be astonished, even outraged. I’ll let Len defend himself – remember he’s a lawyer. Please welcome Len Lamensdorf.
A few notes from Len: