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Leo S. Ullman

Leo S. Ullman was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in July 1939. After surviving WWII as a “hidden child,” as chronicled in his book, “796 Days”, and in a documentary film, "There Were Good People…Doing Extraordinary Deeds: Leo Ullman’s Story,”  (which won several Telly Awards), he came to the United States with his family in December 1947. He graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts (1957), Harvard College (1961) and Columbia University’s Graduate Schools of Law (J.D.; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar) and Business (MBA) (both in 1964). He served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve (1959 – 1965).

He returned to Holland after law school as editor of an international tax publication. He has written several monographs and articles, as well as a monthly column for a Dutch publication on foreign investment in United States real estate.


Mr. Ullman practiced law for more than 30 years, with major New York law firms starting with Sullivan & Cromwell followed by his own firm, Ullman, Miller & Wrubel. As of 1970, while still practicing law, Mr. Ullman established a real estate management company and ultimately a real estate investment trust, which he grew while CEO, Chairman and President, from $13 million to $1.7 billion, and which he took to the New York Stock Exchange in 2003. He was subsequently named Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the financial sector. He retired from the public company in 2011 and presently runs a real estate ownership and management firm. 


With respect to his roots, Mr. Ullman served as a Director of the Anne Frank Center USA for two decades and as its Chairman for 7 years. He has also long served as Chairman of the Foundations for the Jewish Historical Museum of Amsterdam and for the Netherlands National Holocaust Museum, as well as a member of the Development Committee of the U.S. Holocaust  Memorial Museum.


Leo and his wife, Kay, have funded the creation of the Schimmel and Hoogenboom Righteous Remembrance Room at the Holocaust Resource Center of Stockton University to honor the persons who saved his life and the lives of many others in his family. 


At Andover, he established the “Ullman Lectures” as part of tolerance education. He and Kay have cosponsored the exhibit “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda” at the U.S. National Holocaust Memorial Museum. 


A couple of other aspects of his life, quite a far reach from the foregoing, include the fact that he was the goalie in 1960 and 1961 for Harvard’s lacrosse team and has completed 145 triathlons, including 3 Ironman competitions, and bicycled across the U.S. in 25 days. Similarly, on a different tangent, he has donated a collection of some 15,000 Nolan Ryan baseball cards and memorabilia to Stockton University, and recently completed a 265-page book on the world’s greatest Nolan Ryan collection.


Mr. and Mrs. Ullman, who have been married for 63 years, have 4 children and 9 grandchildren.


Much of this is covered in an eight-minute documentary film created by Dana Arschin for the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County and may be accessed here

From A mesmerizing first-person story of a young Jewish boy pushed into hiding over a period of nearly two and a half years during WWII with total strangers who did not know who he was, while his parents hid in an attic elsewhere, not knowing where their son was or whether he was alive. This all in the heart of Amsterdam during the brutal occupation by the Nazis.

Their family, long established, leading honest, law-abiding, normal and comfortable lives were suddenly forced to (in their own words) disappear to become illegal and to live like rats to avoid capture and deportation to killing camps. Yet they survived, facing constant fear of death, house-to-house searches, betrayal, disease and hunger, until liberated by the Allies.

They then left their home, their country and their friends to start anew, in the U.S., seeking freedom from oppression. They quickly grew roots, becoming active and involved in their chosen community, and were able to succeed with zeal and good fortune.

This chronicle includes not only Leo Ullman s own personal story, but stories of other family members and their often miraculous survival. The book contains numerous unique photos, copies of documents and correspondence in support of the stories, as well as valuable historical and factual context of those terrible times.

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