The Pittsburgh Foundation

Sigmund Falk Scholarship Fund

Established: 11/10/1945

Sigmund Falk was a distinguished member of the Pittsburgh community. Born in Irwin, Pennsylvania, on August 4, 1873, he served as the vice-president and director of the Duquesne Reduction Company and held official positions with several other corporations. He was a member of both the Westmoreland Country and Concordia Clubs, and was a dedicated member of the Rodef Shalom congregation. In 1917 he was a Pittsburgh representative at the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

His family fortune was founded on steel. His brother Maurice Falk was one of the founders of Weirton Steel Co., which later became National Steel Corp. His nephew Leon Jr., the son of his brother Leon Sr., also became a high official at National Steel Corp., and held a high position at Duquesne Light Company.

Leon Jr. was the vice president of the University of Pittsburgh for forty years and served as an official of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. In the late 1930s, Leon engaged in helping Jews to escape Nazi Germany.

The Falk family contributed richly to the flourishing of Pittsburgh. Maurice Falk became an avid philanthropist in honor of his first wife Laura for religious, charitable, and educational welfare. Leon helped engineer Pittsburgh's redevelopment by donating millions of dollars to philanthropic organizations in the region, including more than $10 million to the University of Pittsburgh's medical programs. He and his sister Marjorie established the Falk Laboratory School in 1931 at the University of Pittsburgh.

Sigmund's sister Carrie Wolf established this fund with her husband Max in 1945 in honor of her brother. Leon Falk Jr, her nephew, later transferred the fund to the Pittsburgh Foundation. The fund supports needy and orphaned children, with preference given to needy Jewish children.

Type of Fund

  • Designated