Lepky, Lev

Image - Lev Lepky Image - The Press Office of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen: (left to right) R. Kupchynsky, I. Ivanets, V. Orobets, V. Dzikovsky, L. Lepky, T. Moiseiovych.

Lepky, Lev [Лепкий, Лев; Lepkyj; pseudonym: Lele], b 7 December 1888 in Poruchyn, Berezhany county, Galicia, d 28 October 1971 in Trenton, New Jersey. Journalist, writer, and songwriter; son of Sylvestr Lepky and brother of Bohdan Lepky. During the First World War he was an organizer and officer of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen (USS). While serving as a press officer in the Press Office of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen, he wrote songs for the USS (see Songs of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen), several of which became popular, eg, ‘Oi vydno selo’ (The Village Is Nigh) and the music to ‘Zhuravli’ (The Cranes; lyrics by B. Lepky). Many of these were later published in Velykyi spivanyk Chervonoï Kalyny (The Great Chervona Kalyna Songbook, 1937). In the interwar period he worked as an editor at the Chervona Kalyna publishing co-operative in Lviv, which he cofounded, and edited its monthly Litopys Chervonoï kalyny (1929–39) and its annual almanacs. He also published and edited the humor journal Zyz (1924–6), and cofounded and directed the spa at Cherche (1928–39) and the puppet theater Vertep Nashykh Dniv. During the Second World War he was an editor of Krakivs’ki visti. A postwar refugee, in 1952 he settled in the United States, where he helped to revive the Chervona Kalyna publishers in New York and continued organizing USS veterans (see Brotherhood of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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