Founder & Chairman World of Children Awards; Former VP and Dir. Marketing for ESMARK Corp.
Harry Leibowitz Bio
Harry Leibowitz is a speaker, businessman, and philanthropist.
Leibowitz grew up in humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York - throughout World War II and into the early 1950's his family lived in an old bungalow in Coney Island where ten families shared the common bathroom facilities. When his father died, Leibowitz was 14 and had to go to work to help support his family. Working nights in a bakery and then going to school all day, he developed an incredible work ethic and appreciation for the plight of children born into challenging circumstances. In spite of his adversity, he earned a Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. before coming to work at Procter & Gamble.
Leibowitz spent just over 5 years at P&G and left as a Brand Manager in the Bar Soap Division. He then went abroad and ran various global operations for ESMARK before returning to the USA and starting his own Research and Consulting practice. Leibowitz became known for his dynamic public speaking style and was invited as a Keynote speaker at many conferences and conventions during his career. He also wrote and published articles in many professional and business journals. His years of business travels around the world gave him a firsthand taste of the plight of children in developing countries and made a lasting impression.
In 1996, while he was recovering from cancer surgery at age 55, Leibowitz had an epiphany. As he was watching the Pulitzer Prize announcements on TV, he noted that while there was a Pulitzer for art and literature, and a Nobel for the sciences and peace, and an Oscar for films, there were no awards for those who were tirelessly and selflessly serving children in need around the world.
That realization was a catalyst for Leibowitz, and he subsequently founded World of Children and pledged to dedicate the rest of his life to creating a prestigious awards program to support social change makers helping children in need around the world. Using his P&G experience as a platform, he set out to create a "gold standard" in philanthropy.
Now in its 22nd year, the World of Children Award is globally referred to in the press as the Nobel Prize for child advocacy a high praise, indeed. Today, Leibowitz uses all the skills he learned in business and his outstanding public speaking style to motivate people around the world. Leibowitz speaks regularly on children's issues, philanthropy as a business-building tool, and ethics, and he is often heard at universities (most recently at Columbia University in November 2018) and conferences in the USA and abroad. He will be the keynote speaker at The European Women's Network Against Sexual Violence in Belgrade, Serbia in September 2019. He received the 2007 P&G Alumni Humanitarian Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2012, the Wayne State U. distinguished Alumni Award in 2013 and many others. He has been featured in the book AWEARNESS (sic) by Kenneth Cole and more recently in the book The Humanitarian in Each of Us by Drs. Frank LaFasto and Carl Larson, as well as in the P&G Alumni publication, When Core Values Are Strategic.
Today, along with his wife Kay-Isaacson Leibowitz, World of Children co-chair, they live in Rancho Santa Fe, California and spend a good part of the year visiting children's programs globally. Kay is one of America's leading fashion executives. She was the first female President of a division of Melville, Corp., Acting President of Banana Republic, EVP and Chief Merchant at Victoria's Secret and served for more than a dozen years on the Boards of Coldwater Creek and GUESS?
Leibowitz and his wife live by the mantra that "NO CHILD IS DISPOSABLE".