Mellon Family, The
The Mellon family fortune originated with Mellon Bank, founded in 1869. The Family’s impact on philanthropic giving began with Andrew Mellon’s donation in the 1930s of his extensive art collection to provide the beginnings of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. as well as the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. In 1969 Andrew’s children Paul and Ailsa established the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which supports museums and art conservation as well as higher education and scholarship, information technology research, performing arts, conservation and the environment.
In Pittsburgh, the family helped to create and continues to support Carnegie Mellon University, named in honor of the family, as well as for its founder, Andrew Carnegie, who was a close associate of the Mellons. The Pittsburgh-based Richard King Mellon Foundation has funded the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, the linchpin of the area’s biotechnology sector and supports schools, hospitals and a myriad of causes throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Nationally, the Richard King Mellon Foundation has led the way in land preservation purchasing more than 2 million acres in fifty states, ensuring that this land will remain undeveloped and available for public enjoyment.
Other family philanthropists include William Larimer Mellon, who founded Carnegie Mellon’s business school; Sarah Scaife, a supporter of many Pittsburg institutions; and their many descendants. Different branches of the Mellon family who represent the breadth of the family’s giving will accept the award, including members of the Andrew Mellon family and the Richard King Mellon Family.