Harry Weinberg

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Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library at the University of Scranton

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is a non-profit philanthropist organization founded by businessman Harry Weinberg (1908–1990) and his wife Jeanette Weinberg.


Weinberg was born in 1908 in Galicia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father Joseph Weinberg came to Baltimore, Maryland in the US, and sent for his family in 1912.

One of his earliest ventures was selling souvenirs for celebrations at the end of World War I. He dropped out of school at age 12 and worked in his father's car repair shop.[1]

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, he and his brother William would buy properties at depressed prices, fix them up, and resell them for a profit. Throughout his career he was known for being a keen judge of undervalued assets, and having the patience to wait for their values to increase.[2] In Honolulu, Hawaii, he repeated this with the Fifth Avenue Coach Company, in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Dallas, Texas. He started buying stock in the Honolulu Rapid Transit Company in 1955, eventually gained control, slashed costs, and then sold it at a profit to the City & County of Honolulu (it is now known as TheBus) in 1971.[3] In 1968 he moved to Hawaii where he died November 4, 1990. His investments included Amfac, Inc., Maui Land & Pineapple Company,[4] Alexander & Baldwin, and other real estate ventures.

In 1932 he married Jeanette Gutman (1910–1989). In 1984, he had donated funds to air condition all of Israel's nursing homes.

His wife having predeceased him, on his death in 1990, he was survived by son Morton Weinberg, and left $3 million to his grandchildren. His will left the remainder, almost US$1 billion of property, to the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation they had founded in 1959.[5]


The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation was originally established in 1959. Upon his death in 1990 he left $3 million to his grandchildren. His will left almost US$1 billion of property to the foundation.[6]

Weinberg's will specified that 25 percent of annual distributions will go to Jewish charities and further specifies that the proceeds shall be used for the benefit of the poor, and bans gifts to music or arts institutions.[7] The assets continued to grow in value, while large grants enabled entire buildings to be built, such as the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library at the University of Scranton.

Throughout Baltimore and the Hawaiian Islands, many major civic and private buildings and complexes were named after Harry and Jeanette Weinberg. Before his death in 1990, he had decreed that any building for which his charitable foundation gave more than $250,000 would have the couple's name on it somewhere...(Weinberg's) charter allows the foundation to contribute no more than 30 percent of a project's cost. [Baltimore Sun December 07, 2003|By Kate Shatzkin] One of the largest projects named in their honor was the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, Hawaii, dedicated by Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and representatives of President of the United States George W. Bush in 2002. The Filipino Community Center is one of the largest ethnic and cultural centers in the United States. Other projects include the Ko Olina Resort, which asked for $75 million in tax credits.[3]

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is administered by a Board of Trustees that at times includes members of the Weinberg family. Members are usually professionals residing in Honolulu and Baltimore.


  1. ^ Glenn Fowler (November 6, 1990). "Harry Weinberg, 82, Businessman In Transit and Real Estate, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ Bernard W. Stern (1986). "Part III: The Weinberg Era". Rutledge Unionism: Labor Relations in the Honolulu Transit Industry. University of Hawai'i, Center for Labor Education & Research. 
  3. ^ a b Ian Lind (May 22, 2002). "Weinberg's Legacy: The unassailable $2 billion Weinberg Foundation now wants $75 million of taxpayer money". Honolulu Weekly. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  4. ^ Harry Eagar (April 10, 2005). "Old leaders question new ones at ML&P". The Maui News. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Philanthropy: In the End, a Friend Indeed". Time. November 19, 1990. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Philanthropy: In the End, a Friend Indeed". Time. November 19, 1990. Retrieved November 16, 2010. 
  7. ^ “Harry Weinberg's Legacy”, The Baltimore Sun, Nov. 5, 1990

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