FALK , family of U.S. industrialists and philanthropists. maurice falk (1866–1946) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where his father worked as a tailor. At the age of 27 he obtained a controlling interest in a small smelting concern, the Duquesne Reduction Company, which in subsequent years expanded its operations to include many sizeable steel and refining holdings. One of the founders of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in Pittsburgh, he and his younger brother Leon gave ten million dollars in 1929 to establish the Maurice and Laura Falk Foundation, whose beneficiaries have included many educational institutions. A branch foundation, the Maurice Falk Institute for Economic Research in Israel, was established at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The bulk of his large estate was willed to the Foundation for the purpose of studying social problems "for the benefit of mankind."
leon falk (1870–1928) was associated with his brother in most of his business and charitable undertakings, joining with him in 1928 to establish the Falk Medical Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh. He also served as director of the Pittsburgh Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and donated considerable sums to Pittsburgh's Montefiore Hospital and ym-ywha. His son, leon falk jr. (1901–1988), served as president of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in Pittsburgh and in 1939 as vice chairman of the *American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. When Maurice Falk granted money in 1939–40 to study the possibility of resettling Jewish refugees in the Caribbean, Leon Jr. traveled to the Dominican Republic to investigate conditions there and acted as chairman of the Dominican Republic Settlement Association. He became treasurer of Falk and Company in 1928 and was chairman of the board from 1948 to 1952.
The Falk Medical Fund is a grant-making foundation incorporated in 1960 as an outgrowth of the Maurice and Laura Falk Foundation.. The fund focuses on social policy related to mental health, community health, and civil rights and minorities issues. Since its inception, the fund has awarded grants targeted to the elimination of racism and the creation of programs that combine research in psychiatry and mental health with issues of racism, prejudice, violence, and bigotry. The Falk Foundation was a major contributor to the Brookings Institution, one of Washington's oldest think tanks, which named its auditorium after the Falk family.
sigo falk served as chairman of the Maurice Falk Fund as well as the Leon Falk Family Trust. He was also a director of Duquesne Light Holdings, Allegheny Land Trust, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. He was a trustee of Chatham College, where he served as board chair from 1995 to 2002, and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Falk was formerly the associate director of Health Systems Agency of Southwestern Pennsylvania and president of Cranberry Emergency and Diagnostic Center. In 2001, he was honored as the Outstanding Philanthropist by the Association of Fund-raising Professionals.
[Hillel Halkin /
Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]