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Adolph W. Schmidt

Adolph William Schmidt (September 13, 1904 – December 17, 2000) was a prominent Pittsburgh philanthropist who served as United States Ambassador to Canada from 1969 to 1974.


Adolph W. Schmidt was born in 1904 and raised in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.[1] He was educated at Princeton University and Harvard Business School.[2] He met his future wife, Helen "Patsy" Mellon (great-granddaughter of Thomas Mellon, founder of the Mellon Bank), during a fox hunt at the Rolling Rock Club in the Ligonier Valley.[3] The two married in 1936. He served as an intelligence officer during World War II.

After the war, Schmidt became president of the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, serving in that role from 1946 to 1969.[2] In this capacity, he played a major role in "Renaissance I", the urban renewal of Pittsburgh.[1] He was also heavily involved in the creation of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.[2] He represented the United States at the 1957 Conference on North Atlantic Community and at the 1962 Atlantic Convention of NATO Nations.[1]

In 1969, President of the United States Richard Nixon named Schmidt United States Ambassador to Canada. Ambassador Schmidt presented his credentials on September 11, 1969, and served as the U.S. representative in Ottawa until January 29, 1974.

Schmidt also served as president of the Presbyterian-University Hospital, was one of the co-founders of the Pittsburgh Playhouse, and was the first chairman of the Three Rivers Arts Festival.[1]

Schmidt died on December 17, 2000, at the age of 96.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e ""Souls Who Enriched Our Lives", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dec. 1, 2002". Archived from the original on 2006-11-10. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  2. ^ a b c Profile of Clarke M. Thomas, A Patrician of Ideas: A Biography of A. W. Schmidt
  3. ^ Mark Houser, "Westmoreland County birder's self-reliance led to world-wide treks", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Sept. 21, 2007[permanent dead link]
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Harold F. Linder
United States Ambassador to Canada
September 11, 1969 – January 29, 1974
Succeeded by
William J. Porter