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Stuart Franklin Feldman (January 20, 1937 – July 11, 2010) was an American
lobbyist In politics, lobbying, persuasion, or interest representation is the act of lawfully attempting to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of government officials, most often legislators or members of regulatory agency, regulatory agenci ...
and social activist who worked in the administrations of
John F. Kennedy John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the he ...
,
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
and
Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. A member of the Republican Party, Nixon previously served as the 36th vice president from 1953 to 1961, having ...

Richard Nixon
. He co-founded in 1978 what became
Vietnam Veterans of America Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. (VVA) is a national non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collectiv ...

Vietnam Veterans of America
together with
Bobby Muller Robert O. Muller (born 1946) is an American peace advocate. He was born on Long Island, and grew up in Great Neck, New York and attended Hofstra University. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, U.S. Marine Corps in 1967, during the Viet ...

Bobby Muller
. Feldman was a longtime advocate for greater awareness of the needs of veterans and seeing to it that they were provided with better education, health care and job opportunities. Feldman was born on January 20, 1937, in
Philadelphia Philadelphia, colloquially Philly, is a city in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. It is the sixth-most populous city in the United States and the most populous city in the state of Pennsylvania, with a 2019 estimated population ...
and graduated in 1954 from
Cheltenham High School Cheltenham High School is a Public school (government funded), public high school in the Wyncote, Pennsylvania, Wyncote neighborhood of Cheltenham Township, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, located half a mile from the Cheltenham Avenue, border of ...

Cheltenham High School
. He earned an undergraduate degree in 1958 from the
University of Pennsylvania The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered pri ...
with a major in economics. He was awarded his law degree in 1961 from the
University of Pennsylvania Law School The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School (formerly the University of Pennsylvania Law School, sometimes shortened to ''Penn Law, UPenn Law, or Penn Carey Law) is the law school of the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League The Ivy ...
. He went to Washington, D.C., where he was employed by the
Securities and Exchange Commission The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a large independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the United States federal government that was created following the Great Depression, stock market crash in ...
, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Department of Transportation. He left the federal government in the 1970s, taking a post as a lobbyist with the
United States Conference of Mayors The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. The cities are each represented by their mayors or other chief elected officials. The organization was founded i ...
.Brown, Emma
"Stuart F. Feldman, lawyer and lobbyist who advocated for veterans, dies at 73"
''
The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C. It is the most-widely circulated newspaper within the Washington metropolitan area, and has a large nat ...
'', July 15, 2010. Accessed July 22, 2010.
Seeing veterans returning from the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War{{native name, vi, Chiến tranh Việt Nam , partof = the Indochina Wars and the Cold War , image = File:VNWarMontage.png , image_size = 300px , ca ...
, Feldman saw many that were unemployed and didn't have the skills necessary for work. Feldman lobbied on behalf of a threefold expansion in education benefits available to each veteran under the G.I. Bill, increasing the monthly benefit from $100 a month to $300. His efforts led to the development of 1,000 veterans' counseling centers at colleges nationwide, with cash awards paid to those colleges and universities that enrolled veterans and assisted them in gaining employment. Together with
Bob Hope Leslie Townes "Bob" Hope (May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003) was a British-American stand-up comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete and author. With a career that spanned nearly 80 years, Hope appeared in more than 70 sho ...

Bob Hope
, Feldman formed "Hope for Education" in 1970, an effort that led to 50,000 soldiers enrolling for G.I. benefits while attending the entertainer's Christmas tour. Feldman helped found Vietnam Veterans of America in 1978, together with Bobby Muller, a veteran who had been paralyzed during his service in Vietnam. A 1977 article in ''Fortune (magazine), Fortune'' magazine stated he "single-handedly... won billions of dollars for veterans programs". Gerald Nicosia, in his 2001 book ''Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement'' recounted an incident in which Feldman came to testify before the United States House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, when a staffer muttered that "The last time you were here, you cost us a billion dollars". Mr. Feldman also was successful in bringing the special plight of returning service members to the attention of Washington Post editorial board editor Philip L. Geyelin and columnist Colman McCarthy. Geyelin, McCarthy and others in The Post's opinion pages wrote more than 30 columns and editorials pushing the government to take better care of returning troops. "For Stuart Feldman, the people who really scorned Vietnam veterans were not the occasional anti-war protesters, but members of Congress who sent them to war and then willfully looked away when they came home in desperate need of health care and education," McCarthy said Wednesday. "His advocacy was of the rarest kind in Washington: relentless, informed and humane. If there were a medal of honor for valor in defending the rights of veterans, Stu Feldman would surely have earned one." During the 1980-90's, he worked doggedly on establishing a museum in Philadelphia that would educate visitors about the United States Constitution, which led to the 2003 establishment of the National Constitution Center, near the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. In an article released shortly before the center opened, the ''Philadelphia Daily News'' lamented the lack of credit being given to Feldman, stating that his 1984 proposal was "seminal to the center that's come to be".Naedele, Walter F
"Stuart F. Feldman, prime Constitution Center supporter"
''The Philadelphia Inquirer'', July 17, 2010. Accessed July 22, 2010.
The National Constitution Center opened in 2003, two blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Mr. Feldman, who helped secure millions of dollars in congressional appropriations for the museum, was a member of its board for 17 years. He also advocated on behalf of a monument dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. on the National Mall, which he envisioned would be engraved with the text of King's 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech.Feldman, Stuart F
"Memorializing King's Dream"
''The Modesto Bee'', July 27, 1989. Accessed July 22, 2010.
In 1998, the National Capital Planning Commission approved the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, completed in 2011 in West Potomac Park next to the National Mall. A resident of Center City, Philadelphia, died at age 73 on July 11, 2010, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania due to complications of multiple myeloma.


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Feldman, Stuart F. 1937 births 2010 deaths American lobbyists Deaths from cancer in Pennsylvania Deaths from multiple myeloma Deaths from pneumonia University of Pennsylvania Law School alumni People from Cheltenham, Pennsylvania 20th-century American lawyers