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Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.
Richard Rosenthal has spent his professional and philanthropic life helping others develop their potential.
The Rosenthal family started in the printing business in 1868. But the greatest period of expansion and success came when Richard Rosenthal took charge of F&W Publishing in the 1970s.
The new era began in 1975 with the introduction of Artist’s Market. Other publications soon followed, and in 1989 F&W bought the famous Story Magazine.
Lois Rosenthal, who had always worked alongside Dick as an editor and author, assumed the role of editor, re-launching the journal with an excerpt from Norman Mailer’s upcoming novel, Harlot’s Ghost.
Despite growing annual revenues from $4 million in the early 1970s to $65 million in 1998, Rosenthal opted to sell F&W in 1999 to devote more time to the expansive philanthropic commitments.
Over the years the range and variety of commitments had been great — as has their impact.
In 1988, the Rosenthals established the New Play Prize at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park to allow the Playhouse to “take risks with new works” and new playwrights. It paid off, producing such challenging and acclaimed works as Carson Kreitzer’s “The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer.”
In 2002, just as the Cincinnati Wing of the Art Museum was about to open, the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Foundation made $2.15 million gift to allow free admission for everyone, every day, to the museum.
In the aftermath of the 2001 civil unrest, the Rosenthals helped establish The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project to promote positive social change. And in 2007 they donated $1 million to the Freestore-Foodbank to help renovate its facilities, including the new headquarters on Central Parkway.
The best known involvement was their gift of $5 million to build a new home for the Contemporary Arts Center. In the spirit of the CAC and the Rosenthal’s commitment to emerging talent, the Center selected Iranian-born Zaha Hadid to design the new Center at the corner of Sixth and Walnut.
With its urban carpet and dramatic components, the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art immediately garnered international attention when it opened in 2003.
Herbert Muschamp, the architecture critic for the New York Times, called it “the most important American building to be completed since the Cold War.” The compelling building catapulted Zaha Hadid to international attention capped by the coveted Pritzker Prize in 2007.
Less obvious, but no less an expression of the Rosenthal’s commitment to cultivate new talent, is Uptown Arts Foundation in Over-the-Rhine. Founded in 1999, Uptown Arts helps 5 to 11 year-old children develop their “natural and artistic talent… in ways that realize their full potential.”
In business and philathrophy, Richard Rosenthal has committed his life to helping others embrace their natural talent. He has been a gift to Cincinnati and the nation.
Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization