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Many people call Andrew Mellon the “Father of Industry.” Born in 1885, Mellon began his education at Western University of Pennsylvania, which is now the University of Pittsburgh. He first worked for the bank his father started, Thomas Mellon Bank and Sons of Pittsburgh. Later on he became president of the bank, which eventually changed its name to the Mellon National Bank.
Mellon was one on the wealthiest people in the United States by the time he was thirty-six years old. He was very active in industries such as coal, oil, and aluminum, serving as a corporate officer or director in these companies.
He also began manufacturing steel in Donora, Pennsylvania, and Warren Harding appointed him as Secretary of the Treasury, a post he held under Harding, Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. He refunded European debts, cut income taxes, and reduced the public debt in the United States. He became the ambassador to Great Britain in 1932 and held the position for one year.
Mellow donated his huge art collection, worth an estimated $25 million to the United States and then was the prime mover and benefactor to get the National Gallery of Art building built in Washington, D.C. He donated $15 million dollars to have it built. He died in 1937.
In 1959, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was established in his memory. The foundation gives away millions of dollars to colleges and universities, cultural and performing arts organizations, and other non-profit organizations in the fields of health, conservation, and public affairs. It is one of the top ten foundations in the amount of its assets.