Long before "boomers giving back" became a story, Harry Leibowitz was pioneering a new model of hands-on philanthropy.
Harry 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 and he began working long hours upon becoming a teenager. Through these experiences, he developed an incredible work ethic and an appreciation for the plight of children born into challenging circumstances.
Harry went on to enjoy a successful business career, serving in senior executive positions at companies such as Procter & Gamble and ESMARK, and also running his own marketing consultancy. 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, Harry had a vision for World of Children when he was recovering from cancer surgery at age 55. 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 serving children in need.
That realization was a catalyst for Harry, and he subsequently founded World of Children with vital support from Starr Commonwealth. Harry then 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.
A decade later, Harry now devotes all his time to running World of Children - serving as Board Chair and visiting World of Children honorees around the globe along with his wife Kay-Isaacson Leibowitz, a World of Children board member and retired fashion executive who has served at the helm of leading brands such as Banana Republic and Victoria's Secret.
Harry's honors include the Procter & Gamble Alumni Humanitarian Award in 2007, the Reclaiming Youth International Child Advocacy Award in 2006 and the Starr Commonwealth Child Advocacy Award in 1999. In 2008, Harry and World of Children were featured in a book published by Kenneth Cole titled AWEARNESS: Using Ordinary Resources To Do Extraordinary Things.