Eugene M. Lang

Eugene M. Lang MS ’40
Chairman, Eugene M. Lang Foundation, New York

For more than 60 years, Eugene Lang, a protagonist of small business, pursued a career that created many manufacturing ventures in the United States and abroad based on new industrial products and innovative technologies. Reflecting his accomplishments, Forbes magazine characterized him as “the quintessential entrepreneur,” and Nation’s Business, “a father of innovation.”

Retired from business, he now devotes his enterprise to the Eugene M. Lang Foundation, founded in 1963, which focuses on social concerns, primarily innovative projects in education, healthcare, and helping underprivileged children. He received a BA from Swarthmore College in 1938 and an MS from Columbia Business School in 1940.

Mr. Lang has been an adviser to the US Departments of Commerce and State, a member of the NYSE’s individual investors advisory committee, and a managing board member of the Metropolitan Opera Association, chairing its investment committee. He is chairman emeritus of the board of managers of Swarthmore College, life trustee of New School University, and founding donor of its Eugene Lang College. He is also founding donor of the Eugene M. Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School, founder and chairman emeritus of the Conference of Board Chairmen of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges, a member of the advisory council of the Carnegie Mellon Graduate School of Industrial Administration, founder and chairman emeritus of the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, and founder and chairman of Project Pericles, an organization that promotes preparation for participatory citizenship as an essential part of higher education. Mr. Lang has received many awards for public service, with 39 honorary degrees, including an LLD from Columbia University, and the School’s Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics. In 2008, the National Conference of Citizens designated him “The Citizen of the Year.” In 1990, President George H. W. Bush designated him a “Point of Light,” and in 1996 President Bill Clinton awarded him this nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Mr. Lang was married to the late Theresa Volmar Lang from 1946 to 2008. He has three children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.