Pittsburgh businessman and philanthropist Henry Lea Hillman has died at age 98, according to his family.
Hillman passed away at Shadyside Hospital Friday evening.
Hillman was the husband of the late Elsie Hillman, who was also a well-known civic leader and philanthropist.
In a statement, his daughter, Audrey Hillman Fisher, wrote, “Daddy had such a tremendous life filled by a large family he loved dearly, innumerable friends, and great adventures in business and philanthropy. Mother’s loss so soon after they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2015 was difficult, but he did what he always did, he kept going and kept our spirits going, too. We’ll miss him so much.”
Henry Hillman attended Shady Side Academy and graduated from The Taft School and Princeton University. Following his service in World War II, he returned to Pittsburgh, newly married to Elsie.
Hillman transformed the family business from its roots in coke and chemical production into an investment company. Hillman also served as a director of many companies in Pittsburgh and across the country.
“Henry created The Hillman Company as we know it today, having reshaped it from its roots in industrial businesses to diversified investing,” said Joseph Manzinger, president of The Hillman Company. “Although known in Pittsburgh mainly for his generous philanthropy, Henry was respected around the world as a pioneer in private equity and venture capital. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Hillman family as we think about how difficult Henry’s loss must be for them.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto issued the following statement on Hillman's passing:
"Pittsburgh has lost another Patriarch, Henry Hillman. Mr. Hillman led the efforts of Pittsburgh's first renaissance. Along with his beloved wife, Elsie, he helped to create numerous non-profit organizations that have led directly to Pittsburgh's rebirth.
"Far beyond their own family Foundation, Henry & Elsie have proven that civic leadership in Pittsburgh can save a city, rebuild a city and transform a city.
"Henry Hillman will always be remembered as a leader who changed an industrial city into a 21st Century city. The City of Pittsburgh mourns his loss and we send our condolences to the entire Hillman family."
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald also issued a statement:
“Pittsburgh lost a true hero to our region with the passing of Henry Hillman. Henry and Elsie, for decades contributed to the quality of life and to Pittsburgh’s renaissance and regeneration. Henry was an integral part of the first renaissance, part of the second and continued to play a part in what we recognize today as a third renaissance.
“His work, and that of his foundation, always put Pittsburgh first and focused on the improvement of the lives of the people of this region. He was able to attain great wealth through his business acumen in steel, coke, chemicals, banking and other industries, and used that wealth to help others improve the quality of life in western Pennsylvania.
“On behalf of the people of Allegheny County, we extend our sympathies and prayers to Henry’s family and friends on his passing.”
The Hillman family will receive friends from 3-5 p.m. Thursday at John A. Freyvogel Sons, 4900 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh 15213. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Calvary Episcopal Church, 315 Shady Ave., Pittsburgh 15206.
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