Richard B. Mellon biography

Richard B. Mellon

Organization founder

1858 – 1933


Who was Richard B. Mellon?

Richard Beatty Mellon, sometimes R.B., was a banker, industrialist, and philanthropist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

He and his brother, Andrew W. Mellon, another son of Judge Thomas Mellon, were frequent business partners. Richard served under Andrew at Mellon Bank, and assumed its presidency in 1921 when Andrew was appointed Treasury Secretary. They also made several joint philanthropic gifts, notably several large donations to their alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, including the establishment there of the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research in memory of their father, which is now a part of Carnegie Mellon University.

R.B. served from 1899–1910 as president of the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, renamed the Aluminum Company of America in 1907, and was heavily invested in the Pittsburgh Coal Company, today part of CONSOL Energy, where he clashed with John L. Lewis and the United Mine Workers. Later, he was instrumental in forming Mellbank Corporation, a bank holding company, which helped the affiliated banks weather the Great Depression.

In 1918, R.B. Mellon organized the Citizens' Committee on City Plan, which sought to improve Pittsburgh through better urban planning and zoning. In honor of his civic efforts, the Air and Waste Management Association recognizes individuals who have made administrative, legislative, and judicial contributions to the field of pollution abatement with the Richard Beatty Mellon Award.


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Mar 19, 1858
Also known as
  • Richard Beatty Mellon
  • R. B.
  • Scots-Irish American
Dec 3, 1933
Resting place
Allegheny Cemetery

on July 23, 2013

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