About Us

Our History

One day in the early 1980s, while real estate developer John R. Stocks was sitting by the swimming pool at the Gene Autry Hotel in Palm Springs, California, and thumbing through the newspapers, a story about restoring the Statue of Liberty in The New York Times caught his eye. The newly formed Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, led by Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca, was overseeing a much-needed restoration of the 100-year-old Lady Liberty, and the project required removing tons of iron, brass, copper, and other materials from the Statue and replacing them. After reading that, Mr. Stocks said to his son, who was there with him at the pool, “Why don’t we see about acquiring all that material?”

Mr. Stocks’ decision to become involved in the restoration of the Statue of Liberty was inspired in part by fellow entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch Jr. In the early 1970s, Mr. McCulloch purchased a 150-year-old bridge over the River Thames in London that was going to be torn down and replaced. He had the bridge carefully dismantled and rebuilt it in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where the bridge became a source of pride for the city and state. Similarly, Mr. Stocks sought to use the metals from Lady Liberty to create objects that would inspire Americans across the county and give them a new sense of connection with our most treasured national monument.

When Mr. Stocks approached Mr. Iacocca and others of the Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation about buying this historical material from the government, they dismissed him at first, but Mr. Stocks persisted. He later met again with Mr. Iacocca and presented him with a check for $1 million toward the purchase of the materials. Mr. Stocks’ company, the Gold Leaf Corporation, pledged an additional $11 million dollars to the Foundation, becoming the single largest corporate sponsor of the restoration of Lady Liberty.

According to Mr. Stocks, “No person or company in the world has ever owned part of a national monument.” He credits Mr. Iacocca for finding a way to create the first public-private partnership to manage these artifacts generated by the restoration of a national monument. Over the last four decades, this partnership has resulted in the creation of many spectacular pieces using materials preserved from the Statue. One of the most popular pieces is the Spirit of Liberty Bike. Crafted by Orange County Choppers, the bike is plated in copper from the statue. It has traveled across the country, been featured on several television shows, and displayed alongside the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island.

The partnership established by Mr. Iacocca and Mr. Stocks between the Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation and the Gold Leaf Corporation, the parent company of Liberty United, remains strong and continues to inspire creative ways of honoring our heritage and celebrating our freedom. Because of the generosity and vision of these two men, everyone can now become proud owners of this great monument.

The Mission

The mission of Liberty United is to use this historical material that has been preserved from the Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island National Monument to create well-crafted, personalized items that convey the value of freedom and liberty. With these items, we aim to offer a special tribute to the men and women of the military, the men and women of law enforcement, and first responders. We honor the part that each one of them has played in defending and protecting our freedom, and recognize that because of their dedication and sacrifice, the flame of liberty continues to burn brightly in the world. To state to each and everyone of our patriots we could not do it without you!

Mr. Stocks’ decision to become involved in the restoration of the Statue of Liberty was inspired in part by fellow entrepreneur and one-time business partner Robert P. McCulloch. In the early 1970s, Mr. McCulloch purchased a 150-year-old bridge over the River Thames in London that was going to be torn down and replaced. He had the bridge carefully dismantled and rebuilt it in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where the bridge became a source of pride for the city and state. Similarly, Mr. Stocks sought to use the metals from Lady Liberty to create objects that would inspire Americans across the country and give them a new sense of connection with our most treasured national monument.