Louis Armstrong House Museum Names Author and Armtrong Pen Pal Stephen Maitland-Lewis as Board Trustee

FLUSHING, NY, December 10, 2010 — Author and jazz aficionado Stephen Maitland-Lewis has been elected as a Board Trustee for The Louis Armstrong House Museum (LAHM) in Queens, New York.  Maitland-Lewis, who was a pen pal of the legendary Armstrong, is the first trustee to be added to the original board. Maitland-Lewis was unanimously elected to the board during its November 2010 meeting at Queens College in New York City.

“The Louis Armstrong House Museum is thrilled to add Stephen Maitland-Lewis to its Board of Trustees. Stephen has enjoyed a life-long love for Louis Armstrong. He fully appreciates Armstrong’s legacy and the need to preserve and promote it for future generations. He brings to the Board a marvelously personal relationship with Louis Armstrong,” said Michael Cogswell, Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum.

A dual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States, Maitland-Lewis began his pen pal relationship with Louis Armstrong as a youngster, which continued for 15 years until Armstrong’s passing in 1971.  Maitland-Lewis earned a Master of Laws degree and is a former international investment banker, hotelier and newspaper editor.  He has written extensively about jazz and his novel, Hero on Three Continents, was published to many accolades.  He is currently finishing his next novel and resides in Beverly Hills with his wife, Joni Berry.

“Who would have thought that close to 60 years ago, as a young child listening, enraptured, to Louis’s 78’s, that years later, not only would I be living in the United States, I would be on the board of the Louis Armstrong House Museum,” observed Maitland-Lewis.

Maitland-Lewis joins LAHM Board Trustees: Dr. James Muyskens (President of Queens College); Dr. Sue Henderson (Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Queens College); David Ostwald (attorney, leader of David Ostwald’s Gully Low Jazz Band); Stanley Crouch (writer, President of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation); Jerry Chazen (Founder and Chairman, Chazen Capital Partners and one of the original founders of Liz Claiborne, Inc) and Michael Cogswell (Director, Louis Armstrong House Museum).

The Louis Armstrong House Museum (www.louisarmstronghouse.org) currently comprises two sites: the Louis Armstrong House and the Louis Armstrong Archives.   In 1943, Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille purchased a modest house in Corona, Queens, and lived there for the rest of their lives. Today, the Louis Armstrong House is a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark administered by Queens College.  The Armstrong House is the world’s only historic site devoted to a jazz musician that is completely preserved and restored and open to the pubic six days per week. It is visited by people from all over the world.  

LAHM, a 501(c)(3), also owns the world’s largest collection of research materials devoted to a jazz musician. The research materials are currently housed in a six-room archival suite in the library of Queens College. The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation helped to establish LAHM.  LAHM is creating a Visitors Center across the street from the historic house and has already raised $15 million for design and construction. Design is complete and construction will kick-off in spring 2011.  Queens College is the parent organization of LAHM.

For more about Queens College visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/default.aspx

Contact: Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services