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Tommy T. Martin Chair of Insurance

2000 Inductee Lester Rosen

Mr. Rosen entered the life insurance business in 1933 with Union Central Life Insurance Company and remained an active agent for this company until his death. He also served as a past member of the Board of Directors of Union Central. In 1941, Mr. Rosen was called to duty in the Armed Forces serving in the World War II Quartermaster Corps. Being given “leave of absence” from Union Central to answer the call of his “Uncle Sam”, he spent five years serving the country he loved and attained the rank of Major.

While serving his tour of duty at Kennedy General Hospital during World War II, he met the lady he always described as the “most beautiful woman in the world”, Patricia Jefferson, a dietician at the hospital. In 1945, she made him the happiest man in the world by becoming his wife and lifelong companion of 61 years. They had three children, Patricia Ann Ferrell, Lesley Welsh and Jefferson Albert Rosen.  

Mr. Rosen worked tirelessly for the Memphis and Shelby county Community. He was a leader in the civil rights movement and an advocate for social justice. At the time of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., he was President of the Memphis Human Relations Council. He was invited to serve on the Urban League Board and received the J. E. McDaniel Community Service award in 1985. He served actively on the board of the National Conference for Community and Justice (Diversity Memphis) until his health began to fail last year. He was a Past Vice-Chairman of the Memphis and Shelby County Human Relations Commission.  His service to humanity was recognized by a life membership on the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army. The insurance industry has lost a “legend”. Rosen served the industry locally as Past President of the Memphis Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Tennessee Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, the Memphis Chapter Society of Financial Service Professionals and the Memphis Estate Planning Council. He was Past President of the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table, the National Association of Life Underwriters and Life Underwriter Training Council. He was a recipient of numerous awards recognizing his leadership, integrity and service to the Community, the insurance industry and his fellowman.

Mr. Tommy Martin
Dr. Dave Wood,
Martin Chair of Insurance
Rebecca Darden,
Program Coordinator