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Mark Bortman Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-856

Scope and Content Note

This collection primarily consists of MB's correspondence and memorabilia pertaining to his Americana collections and involvement in the People-to-People Program. The bulk of the correspondence consists of condolence letters sent to MB's wife, Llora, and include letters from former Presidents Eisenhower and Truman, and former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson. Bortman's own correspondence includes letters from these luminaries as well as Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister. Several photographs, some signed, of Bortman with Vice President and Lady Bird Johnson, Churchill, and Eisenhower are included, as well as scrapbooks with news clippings and programs regarding the People-to-People program and the Paul Revere Liberty Bowl.

Dates

  • undated, 1948-1967

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Biographical Note

Mark Bortman (MB) was born in Romania on June 28, 1896 to David and Sophie Bortman. In 1904, Bortman and his parents immigrated to the West End of Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended local schools. After graduating from English High School, he attended Boston University from 1923-1924, Suffolk Law School from 1931-1932, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1942. In 1921, he married Llora Cohen; they had one daughter, Jane Bortman Larus.

Bortman was a businessman, and served as President of both Bortman Plastics, Inc. and the Blaxton Corporation. However, he was also a lifelong student of American history and a strong supporter of civic service. In 1948, Bortman and his wife donated over 2000 early Americana manuscripts and artifacts to Boston University (now the Howard Gotleib Archival Research Center). Bortman was also instrumental in the return of Paul Revere's Liberty Bowl to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. In 1956 President Dwight Eisenhower named Bortman Chairman of the People-to-People Civic Committee. Developed by Eisenhower, the program's goal was- and remains to this day- to promote cultural understanding throughout the international community. From 1959-1961 Bortman served as Chairman to the People-to-People Program, overseeing the Sister City Program, which paired together American and international cities.

Chronology

1896
MB born in Romania
1904
Immigrates to Boston, Massachusetts with parents
1921
Marries Llora S. Cohen
1923-1924
Attends Boston University
1931-1932
Attends Suffolk Law School
1942
President of Bortman Plastics, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts
1942
Attends Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1946-1960
President of the Blaxton Corporation
1948
Donates Americana collection to Boston University
1949
Recipient of Good Citizenship Medal, Sons of the American Revolution
1949
Director of the Bostonian Society
1949-1954
Chairman, Paul Revere Liberty Bowl Committee
1950
Director of the Old South Meeting House Association
1954-1955
Treasurer, American Jewish Historical Society
1956
Chairman of the People-to-People Civic Committee
1959-1961
Chairman of the People-to-People Program
1960
Honored by "Old Time West Enders"
1962
Honorary Degree, Sunshine University, Pinellas County, Florida
1963
Honorary Degree, Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts
1967
MB dies

Extent

4.15 linear feet (1 manuscript box, 1 half-manuscript box, 2 OS boxes)

Abstract

This collection primarily consists of MB's correspondence and memorabilia pertaining to his Americana collections and involvement in the People-to-People Program. The bulk of the correspondence consists of condolence letters sent to MB's wife, Llora, and include letters from former Presidents Eisenhower and Truman, and former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson. Bortman's own correspondence includes letters from these luminaries as well as Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister. Several photographs, some signed, of Bortman with Vice President and Lady Bird Johnson, Churchill, and Eisenhower are included, as well as scrapbooks with news clippings and programs regarding the People-to-People program and the Paul Revere Liberty Bowl.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Jane Bortman Larus in 1996.

Processing Information

Processed by Stephanie Call, 2007
Title
Guide to the Mark Bortman Papers, P-856
Author
Processed by Stephanie Call
Date
2007
Sponsor
Processed by Stephanie Call, Schilder Assistant Archivist, made possible by a grant from the Schilder Family Fund. This collection has been digitized, made possible by a grant from the Trustees u/w of Herman Dana.

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society Repository

Contact:
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States
617-226-1245