Melvin Swig

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Melvin Swig
Born(1917-07-31)July 31, 1917
DiedMay 14, 1993(1993-05-14) (aged 75)
NationalityUnited States
Alma materB.A. Brown University
Known forReal estate investor
Spouse(s)Phyllis Diamond (divorced)
Marcia Hove (divorced)
Dolores Cochrane (until her death)
Charlotte Mailliard
Childrenwith Diamond:
--Steven Swig
--Judy Swig (deceased)
with Hove:
--Robert Swig (deceased)
--Kent Swig
Parent(s)Benjamin Swig

Melvin Morse Swig (July 31, 1917 – May 14, 1993)[1] was a San Francisco real estate developer and philanthropist.[2] He was also owner of the National Hockey League's California Golden Seals[3] and Cleveland Barons.


Mel Swig was born to a Jewish family in Boston,[2] and was a son of Benjamin Swig and grandson of politician and banker Simon Swig.[4] He graduated from Brown University in 1939.[2] Swig was a real estate developer and philanthropist, in San Francisco and New York. He was heir to the Fairmont Hotel chain, and former chairman of the Swig, Weiler & Dinner Development Company, of San Francisco and Manhattan, a family-owned real estate company with holdings including the Fairmont Hotels.[4] Swig served in the United States Army in World War II and later moved to San Francisco in 1946.

In San Francisco, Swig was President of the Jewish Community Federation and the Jewish Community Endowment Fund. He established the Swig Judaic Studies Program at the University of San Francisco where he also served as chairman of the board.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Swig was married four times.[1] In 1939, he married Phyllis Diamond with whom he had two children; Steven and Judy.[1] They divorced in 1951.[1] Swig then married Marcia Hove and had twin sons: Robert and Kent.[1] They divorced in 1965.[1] His third wife was Dolores Cochrane who had two daughters from a previous marriage.[1] They were married for seventeen years until her death from lung cancer.[1] His fourth wife was Charlotte Mailliard (née Smith).[2] After his death, she married George Pratt Shultz, who served as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989.

His children were all raised in the Jewish faith.[1] His son Steven Swig, formally served as chairman of the board of the Swig Company in San Francisco, and is married to Mary Green, founder of Mary Green lingerie.[5] His daughter Judy died of cancer in 1975 at the age of 26.[1] His son Kent Swig, a real estate developer in New York, was married to and divorced from Elizabeth Macklowe, daughter of real estate developer Harry B. Macklowe.[6] His son Robert Swig, a philanthropist in San Francisco, died of cancer in 2000 at the age of 39; Robert had three children with his wife Kim Baldwin Swig.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Full text of "Melvin M. Swig, President, Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, 1971-1972 : oral history transcript; with introductions by Donald H. Seiler and Robert E. Sinton ; interviews conducted by Eleanor K. Glaser in 1991 Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1991
  2. ^ a b c d "Melvin Swig, 75, Dies; California Developer". New York Times. 1993-03-16. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  3. ^ "Sports in Brief". Kentucky New Era. 1976-05-13. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  4. ^ a b "Owners entertain offers for Fairmont Hotel chain". The Modesto Bee. 1989-04-02. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  5. ^ San Francisco Examiner: "Mary Green keeps low profile with lingerie company" by Carolyne Zinko February 10, 2013
  6. ^ Denitto, Emily. "40 Under Forty: Kent M. Swig, 36". Crains. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  7. ^ JWeekly: "S.F. philanthropist Robert Swig of real estate family dies at 39" by ALEXANDRA J. WALL August 25, 2000

External links[edit]