Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

John A. Luetkemeyer, Sr. (1910-1998)
MSA SC 3520-1555

Biography:

Born February, 12, 1910, in Cleveland, Ohio.  Son of Gustave William and Julia (Lueke) Luetkemeyer.  Attended Hill School, Pottsdown, Pennsylvania; Harvard University, A.B., 1933; Harvard Law School.  Married to Anne Austin McLanahan; three children: John A., Jr., Anne, and Jean Scott.  Died September 17, 1998, in Baltimore, Maryland.

John A. Luetkemeyer began his banking career in 1934 upon moving to Baltimore. He accepted a position as a runner at the Equitable Trust Company and later advanced to a teller and proof clerk. In 1942, Luetkemeyer temporarily left the bank and joined the Marine Corps. He became a bomb disposal expert, and was discharged in 1945 with the rank of Major. During his service, he earned two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star.

Following the war, Leutkemeyer returned to Equitable and was named vice president. In 1948, he became bank director, followed in 1960 by executive vice president and then president just one year later. He became chairman of the board in 1968, and retired as such in 1975. Leutkemeyer also served on the boards of  the Savings Bank of Baltimore; the Development Credit Corporation of Maryland; the Baltimore Association of Commerce; the Greater Baltimore Committee; Park's Sausage Company; National Life of Tenessee; American Capital Bond Funds; Baltimore Gas and Electric; Baltimore Aircoil Coumpany; Ramsay, Scarlett and Company, Inc.; American General Insurance Company; Maryland Casualty Company; and Johnson Motor Lines.

During his over forty years of service with the bank, Leutkemeyer, helped establish its consumer credit department, which offered home improvement and automobile loans, among others, to the public. The Trust became the first commercial bank in Baltimore to offer such programs. He was also a pioneer in establishing branch banks. In the late 1960s, Luetkemeyer "embraced the idea" of underwriting loans for minority businesses. He later reflected, "'I did an awful lot in that area [asssisting minority businesses] because I thought it should be done. I got a tremendous amount of human satisfaction out of those efforts.'"1

Luetkemeyer's political career began in 1961, when Governor J. Millard Tawes appointed him to the Banking Board of Maryland. On January 3, 1963, at the recommendation of Governor Tawes, the General Assembly elected Luetkemeyer to a four year term as State Treasurer. He was re-elected in 1967 and again in 1971. He announced he would retire in 1975, rather than seek a fourth term, however, he resigned in May 1973 due to health concerns. Although the office of Treasurer was considered a part time position, Luetkeymeyer noted that he typically spent 30 to 35 hours a week "on the job," and advocated "that future treasurers should be full-time and paid on a full-time basis."2

Throughout his life, Luetkemeyer was actively involved in the Baltimore community.  He served on the boards of Shepherd Pratt Hospital, Calvert School, Church Home and Hospital, Goucher College, and Evergreen House Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America, Family and Children's Society of Maryland, American Cancer Society, and the Red Cross, among others.  He also served as president of The Rollins-Luetkemeyer Charitable Foundation, Inc. He was a member of the Merchants Club, Maryland Club, Twelve-Thirty Club, Center Club, Harvard Club of Maryland, Elkridge Club, and Bachelors Cotillon.

1. Fred Rasmussen, "John Luetkemeyer, 88, state treasurer, CEO of Equitable Trust and civil leader," The Baltimore Sun, 20 September 1998.

2. "Luetkemeyer, ill, resigns state post," The Baltimore Sun, 10 May 1973.

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