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Kenneth Lerer is an American businessman and media executive. He was the chairman and co-founder of The Huffington Post, an American news website acquired by Aol in 2011. Lerer is also a Managing Director of Lerer Ventures, and Chairman of Betaworks and BuzzFeed.
Founded in January 2010, Lerer Ventures is a seed stage venture capital fund. Investments include Warby Parker, RapGenius, SailThru, Namely, GroupMe, Makerbot, and Birchbox. In addition, Lerer Ventures runs its own incubator, Soho Tech Labs.
Lerer is a past Executive Vice President of AOL Time Warner and was a founding partner of New York-based corporate communications firm Robinson, Lerer, and Montgomery. In 2003, Lerer launched StoptheNRA.com to advocate for the continuation of the assault weapons ban as a federal law. He subsequently donated the website to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Lerer has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, University of Pennsylvania and New York University, where he lectured on the media and American corporations. He served as Chairman of the Public Theater in New York for 10 years, and is now its Chairman Emeritus. He is also on the boards of the Association to Benefit Children, and the Bank Street College of Education.
He has two children: a son, Benjamin, who started Thrillist.com, an online men's lifestyle website, and is also a Managing Director at Lerer Ventures; and a daughter, Isabel, a founder of The Dodo, an animal-themed site. Lerer and his wife, Katherine Sailer, are active fundraisers for the Democratic party. According to the New York Times, on April 9, 2007, they co-hosted a $2,300/plate fundraiser for Barack Obama at their Central Park West apartment in New York.