Henry J. Heinz II Fund
The Henry J. Heinz II Fund was established through a $6 million grant to The Pittsburgh Foundation by The Howard Heinz and Vira I. Heinz Endowments to underscore the Heinz Endowments' continuing commitment to the City of Pittsburgh and the role the Foundation plays in improving the quality of life in the region.
The fund honors the life of Henry "Jack" Heinz, a leading founder of The Pittsburgh Foundation and a force behind the city's post-war renewal known as Renaissance I.
"The Pittsburgh Foundation is one of our community's most vital assets," said Teresa Heinz, chairman of the Howard Heinz Endowment. "One of my father-in-law's most enduring gifts to the community he loved was his instrumental role in the creation of a foundation that would belong to all of its people."
Born in 1908, Jack Heinz lived to see two world wars, the Great Depression, the expansion of The Heinz Company and the first renaissance of the City of Pittsburgh. Educated at Choate, Yale and Cambridge, he worked summers in the pickling and salting stations for the family company, like his father before him. Jack became President of the company following the death of his father.
Jack was a driving force of economic revitalization in Pittsburgh. At an early age, he bought four empty vaudevillian theaters in what is now The Cultural District. One of the buildings became Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
He teamed up with Richard King Mellon and then Mayor David Lawrence on a plan called Renaissance I to revitalize Pittsburgh and change its image from a smoky industrial town to a modern city. Smoke-control ordinances went into effect, ending years of bleak darkness at midday caused by soot and smoke from the steel mills.
A thoughtful and dedicated civic leader, Jack served as Chairman of the United War Fund. After the war, he became Chairman of the Community Chest, which later became The United Way. Jack died in 1987 at the age of 79, passing leadership of the Heinz Company outside of the family for the first time and the reins of the family philanthropy to his son H. John Heinz IIII.
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