Richard Lieber

pioneering conservationist
Born: 9/5/1869
Birthplace: St. Johann-Saarbrucken, Germany

Lieber grew up in Germany and studied in England for a year before coming to the United States in 1891. At first he found work in a hardware store in Indianapolis, Ind., but later he became a music and art critic for the Indianapolis Journal and the Indiana Tribune and engaged in various businesses in Indianapolis. In 1915 he became the chairman of the Indiana state park committee, which had just been formed in time for the state's centennial celebration in 1916. A strong conservationist, Lieber stressed the importance of creating outdoor recreational areas, which would not only “refresh and strengthen and renew tired people” but would also build for the future by preserving trees and protecting birds and animal life. In 1917 Lieber was appointed secretary of the Indiana board of forestry, and he served as the first director of the Indiana Department of Conservation from 1919 until he resigned in 1933.

Richard Lieber married Emma Rappaport on Aug. 28, 1893.

Died: 4/15/1944