H.J. Heinz: A Biography

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Heinz II who would see the company through.

Howard died in early after suffering a stroke following a medical procedure in Philadelphia. With his will, the Howard Heinz Endowment was established. Elizabeth Heinz continued to live in their Morewood Heights home in Pittsburgh until her death in Born in , Jack Heinz would live to see two world wars, the Great Depression, the vast international expansion of the Heinz Company and a renaissance in the city of Pittsburgh. He was educated at Choate, Yale and Cambridge, but, like his father before him, he worked summers in the pickling and salting stations for the company.

He then joined the sales force in England and grew to have a happy and profitable association with the UK.

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In , Jack married Joan Diehl, a pioneering aviatrix, and the mother of their only child, H. Heinz III. While Jack was active in the business world, Joan was an industrial designer and a fine artist. They divorced in , shortly after Jack became president of the company following the death of his father.

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H. J. Heinz: A Biography EBOOK

His task to lead the company at a time of war was a daunting one. He was tapped to assist England with its food shortages and also toured the Netherlands to assist that nation with food aid. Like his father after World War I, Jack was instrumental in assuaging the dire food situation in war-ravaged Europe. The company under his leadership actively participated in the war effort.

The main plant in Pittsburgh was retooled for a time to manufacture glider planes for the Department of the Army and, overseas, the Harlesden plant developed innovative strategies to utilize what food was available in England to its best advantage. As a civic leader, Jack served as chairman of the United War Fund and routinely gave speeches with the themes of food conservation, rationing and food allocations.

After the war, he served as chairman of the Community Chest, which later became the United Way, criscrossing the country, encouraging people to give and give generously.

But Jack Heinz was not just the president of an ever-growing company. He was an avid skier and an art collector, he traveled extensively all over the world and he was a thoughtful and dedicated philanthropist. In , he married Drue Maher, who shared these interests and also had her own areas in which she worked, often acting as a theatrical angel.

The arts in general, and literature and writers in particular, received great attention.

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It was as a philanthropist that Jack Heinz would make significant contributions to the city of Pittsburgh. Following the war, he teamed up with Richard King Mellon and Mayor David Lawrence for Renaissance I—a plan to revitalize Pittsburgh and its image from old 19th-century ways to modernity. Smoke-control ordinances went into effect, ending years of pitch blackness at noon caused by soot and smoke from the steel mills.

He worked to convert it to a home for the Pittsburgh Symphony. The building, known now as Heinz Hall, has served as a model for urban redevelopment. Despite advancing years and encroaching illness, Jack continued his dynamic leadership at the H. Among the more notable achievements was the development of a baby food factory in mainland China.

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He was personally on hand for the opening, where the Chinese, who have a respect for lineage, were pleased to see that there was actually a Heinz behind the Heinz Company name. John Heinz III. Drue Heinz continues her philanthropy in the United States and Europe. The youngest of H.


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In , he entered Lafayette and eventually moved to a career with the H. Vira would never remarry, but she would embark on a career of philanthropy that would go on for more than four decades. She worked in the homefront war effort during World War II and went on to participate in the founding of the Civic Light Opera, serve on the boards of the Pittsburgh Opera and Symphony Society and become the first woman trustee of Carnegie Mellon University.

Henry J. Heinz Biography: Success Story of Heinz Ketchup Empire

Her devotion to Pittsburgh and the region she called home continued even after her death in As part of her will, she established the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, which continues her generous work in giving back to Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Henry John Heinz. Such products provided convenience to housewives, who previously had to make all their home products from scratch.

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In fact, imports of British commercially-prepared foods had been underway for several decades before him. Heinz decided to win their trust by selling his food items in clear glass bottles so you could see what you were getting. This was an innovation. He, and later his son Howard, also introduced defined quality control procedures in his food processing plants, and would even invite people into his factories to see how clean they were and how well-treated his employees were.

He parlayed this trust into an empire through his natural marketing and advertising savvy.


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Heinz Baked Beans are such a staple in Britain that some Brits are actually surprised to learn the company is actually American. Henry John Heinz was born and died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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