Lewis Manilow (born Irvin Inger, August 11, 1927, Chicago, Illinois) is an American attorney, real estate developer, and arts patron. He is known as one of the founders of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. He helped fund the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, in collaboration with Joseph Randall Shapiro and other passionate contemporary art collectors in 1967 when Hugh Hefner made the former Playboy Enterprises-owned space on 237 E. Ontario St. available. He was also a principal backer and longtime honorary president of Chicago's Goodman Theatre and the developer of the town of University Park, Illinois, where he was instrumental in the creation of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, a monumental internationally recognized outdoor sculpture park at Governors State University.
Manilow was one of the producers of the film The Next Best Thing (2000). He is a longtime supporter of Democratic political candidates including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Manilow is a lifetime trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago, served as a member of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, and serves on the boards of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the Progressive Policy Institute, the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy, and the Executive Committee of the Chicago Community Trust. Manilow was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2000.
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“Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead.”
—Sinclair Lewis (18851951)