Lerner Surname History

The distinguished surname Lerner is a proud symbol of an ancient Jewish heritage. In the Middle Ages, it became important for people to assume surnames, since it was becoming more and more difficult to identify people with the same names, in the crowded towns and cities. The adoption of hereditary surnames, which came from a variety of sources, was a direct solution to this problem. The surname Lerner is an occupational surname, which comes from the Yiddish word lernen, which means student. In Eastern Europe, a young husband would spend all his days studying the Torah, and this, being considered his primary activity, was deemed an occupation.

Lerner migration to the United States

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Lerner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mattys Lerner, who arrived in New York in 1709 [1]
Lerner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Lerner, aged 50, who arrived in Delaware in 1803 [1]
  • Johann Adam Lerner, who landed in Kentucky in 1854 [1]
  • Anton Lerner, who arrived in Kentucky in 1867 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Lerner (post 1700)

  • Murray Lerner (1926-1927), American Academy Award nominated documentary and experimental film director and producer
  • Benjamin S. Lerner (b. 1979), award-winning American poet, novelist, and critic
  • Alfred "Al" Lerner (1933-2002), American businessman and philanthropist
  • Theodore N. "Ted" Lerner (b. 1925), American real estate developer
  • Abba P. Lerner (1903-1982), American economist
  • Michael Lerner (b. 1941), American actor
  • Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986), American lyricist and librettist
  • Richard A. Lerner (b. 1938), American research chemist and co-winner of the 1994/5 Wolf Prize
  • Harry Lerner, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1956, 1964 [2]
  • Dave Lerner, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wyoming, 2008 [2]
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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