Lowell Lebermann’s Rare Loss Deemed a Blessing

July 10, 2009

All of us who knew him or have been touched by the good cheer and good deeds of Lowell Lebermann are saddened by his unexpected passing yesterday.  Today’s Austin American-Statesman chronicled highlights of his lifetime achievements and public service. It also noted briefly an early, unsuccessful political campaign for State Representative in 1964.

That brought back a smile from personal memories of how Howard Rose and Larry Temple of Governor John B. Connally’s office and a young Speaker of the House Ben Barnes got me involved in that campaign.  They were all impressed with Lowell as a bright young student at UT with political ambitions, so our firm did the advertising and publicity for his race, with quiet support from Austin politicos. But alas, the voters of Norrtheast Texas  failed to grasp the level of talent offered.

Nonplussed  by the loss, Lowell went on to become a successful businessman and became widely admired for his distinguished record of public service as a member of the Austin City Council and the University of Texas Board of Regents, as well as his generosity toward community endeavors. And anytime our conversations would get around to that rare early-day setback, I will always remember fondly his infectous laugh while declaring “that was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Footnote: My late wife Anice Barber Read, who founded and directed the Texas Main Street Program for the Texas Historical Commission, was responsible for preservation and restoration of the historic Christiansen-Lebermann Photography Studio west of the Capitol in Austin. And Lowell and his late mother Sue Lebermann were honored guests on occasion of its debut as the Texas Main Street Center, now named after Anice Read.

–Julian Read

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