“Mellon An American Life by David Cannadine
biography of Andrew W. Mellon (1855-1937)
Sir David Cannadine joined Princeton in the fall of 2008, having previously held positions at Cambridge, Columbia and London Universities.
"Andrew W. Mellon belonged to a remarkable American generation which witnessed the creation and accumulation of individual fortunes in unprecedented abundance by such men as Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, Morgan, and Frick."
The Mellons were Protestant Scotch-Irish immigrants who settled in south western Pennsylvania in 1818.
Father, Thomas (known in later years as the judge) instilled self sufficiency and an entrepreneurial
spirit in his sons.
Thomas began the accumulation of family wealth.
The Mellons were one catalyst in the transformation of western Pennsylvania into one of the then richest industrial regions in the United States.
Among the many companies Andrew would later help to found and fund were ALCOA, Carborundum, Koppers, and Gulf Oil.
Andrew excelled as "businessman and banker; as a politician and statesman; as an art collector; and as a philanthropist. "
During his life, Andrew gave away nearly ten million dollars.
He was very generous to charitable endeavors and educational institutions in Pittsburgh.
But, his most famous gift was to the American people in money and fine art to establish the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Besides being a financial pioneer, he was
49th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office.....March 9, 1921 – February 12, 1932.
Cannadine ,as biographer, provided a very rich reading experience.
He approached A W Mellon holistically and I felt he investigated all pertinent phases of Mellon's life and personality.
Being someone who loves the tapestry that is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...I call it a read worth your time