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Lester V. Horwitz photo.jpg

Lester V. Horwitz attended The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University and graduated from the Chicago Art Academy. After a few years working for a large advertising agency, he decided to form his own agency. 

During his fifty-year career in advertising, his clients have included: Levi Strauss, Ponderosa Steak Houses, Red Barn Restaurants, Baskin-Robbins Foodservice, Quaker Oats, Procter & Gamble, J.C. Penney stores in Ohio and Northern Kentucky, Duke Associates, Prudential Property Company, Metropolitan Insurance, Comair Jet Express, Winegardner & Hammons, and Formica.

Interest in the Civil War was kindled when Lester and his wife, Florence, purchased an old farmhouse built in 1840. His research revealed that the home had been raided on July 14, 1863 by Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s cavalry. Two horses were stolen from the barn and the owner was reimbursed $155 by the State of Ohio.

Civil War history and Morgan’s Raid became his passion. The more he read about the raid, the more he wanted to find out what happened to others who had been raided. His research uncovered hundreds of stories that filled over five hundred pages in The Longest Raid of the Civil War.  The book included 183 photographs and historic documents, state and county maps and 4 battlefield maps.​

He and Florence co-chaired a Morgan's Raid exhibit at the Loveland Historical Society Museum.  During the five-month exhibit, he gave talks each weekend about the raid.  After each talk, people would approach him and ask to buy his book. His response was, "I don't have a book, but if you will give me your name and how I can contact you, I'll let you know when the book is published."

For the next four years, after working at his advertising office and on weekends, he completed the book's manuscript.  By the time the book was published he had a mailing list of many thousands.  His first printing of 5,000 copies sold out in eight months.  Since then, there have been many reprints.

Lester Horwitz with books.jpg

He is the first Civil War author to be filmed and broadcast nationwide on  C-Span 2/BookTv.

He completed a musical drama, The Rebels are Coming!, adapted from his book.  It is Morgan's Raid in music!  The World Premier was performed in Glendale, Ohio. The Governor of Ohio, Robert Taft, appointed him to serve on the Ohio Bicentennial Commission Civil War Advisory Group. As a member of this select committee, he helped plan the state’s commemoration of the Civil War which included a re-enactment of Morgan’s Raid and a commission to artist, Mort Kuntsler, to paint Morgan’s Ohio Raid.

In 1999, The Longest Raid of the Civil War, Little-Known and Untold Stories of Morgan’s Great Raid into Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, received two honors. It was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for History and received a Post-Corbett Award for Literature. In September of that same year, The Cincinnati Enquirerreported that his book was the number #1 best-selling non-fiction book in Greater Cincinnati, outselling Tuesdays With Morrie and Dr. Atkins Diet.

Nick Clooney, in his Cincinnati Post newspaper column, wrote, "My old friend, Cincinnati advertising executive, Les Horwitz, has turned out one heck of a book. He achieved something I didn’t think was possible. This is an original work going to primary sources, on a major event of the Civil War. It is a handsome volume called The Longest Raid of the Civil War, and deals with John Hunt Morgan's remarkable incursion through Northern Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio in the summer of 1863. The book is painstakingly researched, and it reads like a novel. We meet hundreds of individuals, travel through scores of towns, recoil at dozens of skirmishes and become witnesses to an audacious dash that panicked Northern states in a summer that was otherwise an unbroken series of triumphs for the Union. Civil War buffs need this one in their libraries. Hats off to Les for a real contribution to our history."


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