Irving S. Olds

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Irving Sands Olds (1887–1963) was an American lawyer and philanthropist. He served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of U.S. Steel, and was partner at White & Case.

Early life[edit]

Irving Sands Olds was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, the only child of Clark and Livia Elizabeth Olds. Clark was an attorney, and Irving grew up in a wealthy household.[1] Irving attended Yale University for his undergraduate degree, and graduated with a B.A. in 1907. He then continued on to receive a law degree from Harvard in 1910. Upon his graduation, Olds took a position as a law clerk for Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. In 1911, he joined the law firm White & Case. In 1917, Olds became a partner, and remained as such until his death.[2] He married Evelyn Foster in that same year, and the two never had children.[3]

Career[edit]

After a stint in France after the First World War opening White & Case's Paris office, Olds returned to the United States and became involved in the relationship between his firm and the United States Steel Corporation. In 1936, Olds was elected to the corporation’s Board of Directors, and in 1940, upon the departure of Edward Stettinius, he was made chairman and chief executive officer. He ran U.S. Steel for twelve years, through the rest of the Second World War, and into the Atomic Age.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Olds led the Council for Financial Aid to Education, an organization which directed corporation donations to universities. He spent two years as the President of the New-York Historical Society, and was a benefactor and board member of both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He studied naval history and had published two works, about the topic, “U.S. Naval History, 1776-1815” and “Bits and Pieces of American History”. He collected Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Naval Prints, and had a collection of over 1,000 items, many of which were donated upon his death to White & Case and the New-York Historical Society.

Olds died in March 1963, and was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, in The Bronx.[5]

Legacy[edit]

In 1942, the American Ship Building Company constructed the SS Irving Olds, named in honor of Olds, for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. The ship was sold to U.S. Steel in 1952, and was eventually scrapped in 1988.[6]

His art collection and personal papers are housed at the New-York Historical Society.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1900 U.S. Census". Ancestry.com. National Archives & Records Administration. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Corporate Clients". White & Case. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  3. ^ "The Philadelphia Inquirer, 5 March 1963". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  4. ^ "The Philadelphia Inquirer, 5 June 1940". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Irving Sands Olds". FindAGrave. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  6. ^ "OLDS, IRVING S." Great Lakes Vessels Online Index.
  7. ^ "Guide to the Irving S. Olds Collection of Naval and Other Historical Prints and Related Papers". NYU Libraries. Retrieved 26 April 2019.