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Sarah Cordelia Mellon Scaife (December 10, 1903 – December 28, 1965) was an American heiress and Republican party donor.


Early lifeEdit

Sarah was born on December 10, 1903. She was the daughter of Jennie Taylor (née King) Mellon (1870–1938)[1] and Richard B. Mellon, a noted banker, industrialist, and philanthropist.[2]

Her paternal grandfather was Judge Thomas Mellon and her uncle was Andrew W. Mellon, a former Secretary of the Treasury during the Great Depression and U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James'. She was one of the heirs to the Mellon fortune, including Mellon Bank and major investments in Gulf Oil and Alcoa.[3] Her maternal grandparents were merchant Alexander King and Sarah Cordelia (née Smith) King.[1]

In 1957, when Fortune prepared its first list of the wealthiest Americans, it estimated that Sarah Mellon, her brother Richard King Mellon, and her cousins Ailsa Mellon-Bruce and Paul Mellon were all amongst the richest eight people in the United States, with fortunes of between $400 and $700 million each.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1927, Sarah was married to Alan Magee Scaife (1900–1958), an industrialist who was president chairman of the Scaife Company.[5] Together, they were the parents of:[6]

Sarah's husband died in 1958,[5] and she died at West Penn Hospital on December 28, 1965. After a funeral at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church (built with funds from her family), she was buried at Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh.[6] After her death, her collection of furniture and art was sold by the Parke-Bernet Galleries in New York while her jewelry was sold by William J. Fischer.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "MRS. R. B. MELLON, WIDOW OF BANKER; Sister-in-Law of Late Secretary of Treasury Is Dead" (PDF). The New York Times. 16 November 1938. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  2. ^ "RICHARD B. MELLON, FINANCIER, 75, DEAD; Brother of Former Secretary of Treasury Wielded Wide Powers as Industrialist. A NOTED PHILANTHROPIST Co-Founder of Famous Research Institute Shared in Family's Immense Fortune" (PDF). The New York Times. 2 December 1933. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  3. ^ "R. B. MELLON LEFT ESTATE TO FAMILY; Will, as Filed, Disposes of $2,000,000 -- Fortune Reported at $200,000,000. INSTITUTE GETS $1,100,000 $250,000 to House and Business Employes -- Many Gifts to Charity in Testator's Life" (PDF). The New York Times. 9 December 1933. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Obituary: Cordelia Scaife May / Reclusive Mellon heiress known for her generosity". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 27, 2005. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b "ALAN M. SCAIFE, 58, INDUSTRIALIST; Chairman of Steel Concern in Pittsburgh Is Dead -- Mellon Family Associate" (PDF). The New York Times. 25 July 1958. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b "MRS. ALAN SCAIFE, ART PATRON, DIES; Member of Mellon Family-Aided Museums, Schools" (PDF). The New York Times. 29 December 1965. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  7. ^ Money, Family Name Shaped Scaife, 1999, By Robert G. Kaiser, Washington Post
  8. ^ "Mrs. Cordelia S. May Is Wed To Pittsburgh District Attorney". The New York Times. 7 November 1973. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Billionaire Conservative Activist Richard Mellon Scaife Dies at 82". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Sarah Mellon Scaife Collection Will Be Sold by Parke-Bernet; Bronze Figure by Tatti" (PDF). The New York Times. 25 September 1966. Retrieved 15 August 2019.

External linksEdit