Douglas D. Danforth and Janet P. Danforth Fund
Douglas D. and Janet P. Danforth established their fund in December 1986, supporting scholarship funds, museums, and human services in Pittsburgh and beyond.
Born and Raised in the Syracuse area, Mr. Danforth majored in mechanical engineering and performed in various theatrical productions at Syracuse University. Graduating in 1947, he went to work for General Electric in South America, serving in various managerial and engineering roles until joining Westinghouse in 1955. There he began his decades-long tenure as one of Pittsburgh’s most influential civic and business leaders.
Mr. Danforth served as Chairman and CEO of Westinghouse from 1983 to 1987. Under his leadership, Westinghouse’s profits soared, its stock prices tripled, and the company grew to be America’s 28th-largest. Later, after serving as Chairman and CEO of the Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Club, he led or served on the boards of Pittsburgh’s foremost corporations and institutions: PNC Bank, PPG Industries, Carnegie Mellon University, The Pittsburgh Foundation, Rubbermaid, Travelers, Whirlpool, and more.
Janet P. Danforth was also born in the Syracuse area and went on to live in Mexico City, Pittsburgh, and Naples, Florida. She served on the school board in Mexico City and the Junior League in Pittsburgh, where she worked on behalf of the blind.
Douglas and Janet married in 1943. As a couple, they gave to various charitable causes and raised llamas and Christmas trees on their Washington County farm until Mrs. Danforth’s passing on November 12, 2012. Mr. Danforth remained active as a Trustee of both Carnegie Mellon University and Syracuse University, while also serving as Director Emeritus of The Pittsburgh Foundation’s board until his death June 9, 2015, after a brief hospitalization at UPMC Montefiore. He was 92.
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