Elinor S. Gimbel
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Elinor S. Gimbel
Elinor S. Gimbel
Elinor Steiner Gimbel

August 5, 1896
DiedMarch 3, 1983 (age 86)
Monroe Hess (divorced)
Louis S. Gimbel Jr.
ChildrenNicholas Hess
Louis S. (Tom) Gimbel 3d
Stinor Gimbel
Parent(s)Sadie Liebmann Steiner
Samuel Simon Steiner

Elinor Steiner Gimbel (August 5, 1896 - March 3, 1983) was an American progressive leader and women's rights activist.


She was born Elinor Steiner to a Jewish family in 1896, the daughter of Sadie (née Liebmann) and Samuel Simon Steiner.[1] Her mother, the daughter of Joseph Liebmann, belonged to the family that owned Liebmann Breweries; and her father was the owner of S. S. Steiner, Inc, then the largest hop distributor in the country.[1][2] In 1914, she graduated from the Calhoun School.[1]

In the 1930s, Gimbel was motivated by the Great Depression and Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal to become politically active.[1] In 1940, Gimbel established the Non-Partisan Committee to support Roosevelt's third term in office.[1]

After the death of her second husband during World War II, she founded the Committee for the Care of Children in Wartime which focused on the lack of government support provided to working mothers.[1]

In 1947, Gimbel and Anita McCormick Blaine of Chicago (a daughter and heiress of Cyrus McCormick) were the two major funders of the Progressive Citizens of America (PCA) group.[3] She also joined the Progressive Party serving as its "women's voice."[1] She was chair of the Women For Wallace (WFW) committee which supported Progressive Party candidate Henry A. Wallace over Harry S. Truman whom she deemed the "accidental occupant of the White House."[1] Although Jewish, she did not tie her progressive activism with Zionism and hosted lavish Christmas parties at her home in New York City during World War II.[1]

Gimbel served as an executive at S.S. Steiner and Liebmann Breweries.[1][4]

Personal life

Gimbel married twice. She had a son, Nicholas Hess, with her first husband, Monroe Hess, whom she married after she graduated from the Calhoun School; they later divorced.[1][5] In 1924, she married Louis S. Gimbel, Jr., grandson of Adam Gimbel;[1] they had two sons.[6][7][8][9] Her husband - who served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Air Corps - was killed while a passenger in a Army Air Corps transport plane crash over Maine in 1942.[6][10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Jacqueline, Castledine (5 November 2012). Cold War Progressives: Women's Interracial Organizing for Peace and Freedom. ISBN 9780252037269.
  2. ^ Hofmann, Rolf (June 21, 2001). "The Originators of Rheingold Beer - From Ludwigsburg to Brooklyn - A Dynasty of German-Jewish Brewers". Aufbau.
  3. ^ Karabell, Zachary (18 December 2007). The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election. Knopf. pp. 64 (PCA vs ADA), 66 (ADA), 73 (members, funding). ISBN 9780307428868. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ "Hopsteiner celebrates 150 years". Modern Brewery Age. September 18, 1995.
  5. ^ The American Jewish Chronicle, Volume 2. 1917. p. 788.
  6. ^ a b "Louis S. Gimbel, Jr. Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army Air Corps". Arlington National Cemetery website.
  7. ^ "Gail Bidwell Marries S. Stinor Gimbel". New York Times. December 2, 1984.
  8. ^ "WEDDINGS; Kristina Stroh, Louis Gimbel 4th". New York Times. August 1, 1999.
  9. ^ "WEDDINGS; Alexandra Wald, Adam Gimbel". New York Times. July 22, 2001.
  10. ^ "Louis Gimbel, Founder of Department Store, Dies". Jewish Telegraph Agency. January 5, 1930.

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