Leonard Everett Fisher is a Westport icon.
One of our our town’s most cherished artist/illustrators, he’s designed 10 US postage stamps. His works hang in the collections of the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Yale Art Gallery and New Britain Museum of Art.
At 93 — and a member of the Westport Arts Center’s board of directors — he’s working hard to create a Westport Artists Museum at Baron’s South.
But just as important to Fisher was his service in World War II. Between 1942 and ’46 he was a topographical mapmaker. He planned, edited and produced ground maps for invasions and campaigns in Italy, France, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the aborted invasion and occupation of Japan.
More than 70 years after the war, his contributions are finally drawing national attention.
This Wednesday (April 11, 10 p.m.), PBS airs “GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II.” Fisher is one of the interviews in the film.
He’s in good company. Henry Kissinger, Mel Brooks and other Jewish Americans — some famous, others unknown — share their experience as part of the 550,000 men and women who fought for their nation, struggled with anti-Semitism in their ranks, and emerged transformed, to fight for equality and justice at home.
The film has already been shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival, and the Center for Jewish History. It will be screened this Tuesday (April 10), at the JCC Manhattan.
Fisher is one of the oldest living World War II veterans in Westport. Every one has an intriguing story.
But only Fisher’s will be told on national television this week.
(For more information on “GI Jews,” click here.)