Respondent
Ruttenberg, Harold
Interview Date
February 24, 1986
Abstract
Harold Ruttenberg, a leader in the labor movement in America and Israel, author, and art collector, he served as chief economist for United States Steel Corporation and as executive vice president of US Steel Union; birth year, 1914;
[T1S1] mother's emigration from Odessa, Russia; father's birth in Lithuania; his immigration to the United States; father's employment in retail business; parents' early life in St. Paul, Minnesota; names of siblings; his birth in St. Paul in 1914; home life; musical influence of his grandmother; enters Massanutten Military School at age 14; recollections of military school; recreational activities; health services; education, American University, University of Pittsburgh; his early interest in the labor movement; influences in college; becomes secretary of the Steel Workers Union while at the University of Pittsburgh; a summary of his early union activities on file at Pennsylvania State University;
[T1S2] marriage to Katherine Monori; their children and grandchildren; residences in the Oakland and Squirrel Hill sections of Pittsburgh; his early union connections; cultural activities in early life; political affiliation; affiliation with Beth Shalom; becomes assistant director of War Production board during WWII; opinion of Roosevelt administration; his work on a publication called <i>Economics of Iron and Steel</i>; his publications for <i>New Republic, Harvard Business Review</i> and the Pittsburgh<i> Press</i>; the influence on his life work of Philip Murray, John L. Lewis, John Brophy, and Steven Rauchenbush; 1934, he serves as an investigator for the United States Senate Munitions Committee; 1936-46, serves as chief economist for U.S. Steel and on the War Production board during WWII; author of a book entitled <i>Self-Developing America</i>; 1946, becomes executive vice president of U.S. Steel union; his transition to management and industry; 1937-77, he works as an independent contractor with Rockwell Company; 1964, he buys and liquidates Wire and Steel Company; 1951-59, travels the world selling equipment for Star Drill Company; the beginning of the Humanation Association in 1964; views on the fall of the steel industry in Pittsburgh; his endeavors to influence Israeli government;
[T2S3] a discussion of his travels for Star Drill Keystone; 1964-68, United Steel Wire Company; Rehoboth, chairman for electronic and military gear for Israel; 1973, takes control of Automatic Voting Machines, now known as American Locker Group, Inc.; his activity with World Union of Progressive Judaism, Zionism, and Histradut; 1954, first trip to create water well industry in Israel; 1968, conference to promote investment in Israel, Rehoboth Company; 1968-69, moves to Israel to divide his time equally between private industry, government owned business and Histradut; discussion of his business in Israel;
[T2S4] his contact with Golda Meir, Herbert Samuel, Teddy Kollek, Abba Eban, David Ben Gurion; discussion of the Camp David agreement; his synagogue involvement at Hebrew Union College; comparison of lifestyle in Israel and the United States;
[T3S5] the younger generation in Israel; the Jewish renaissance in America; the Kibbutz; relations with Arab neighbors; opinion of Roosevelt's role in the formation of state of Israel; beginning of his art collection in 1960; names of artists in his collection including Sam Rosenberg, Chaim Gross, Sawyer brothers, Chagall, Castell, Yaacov Agam, and Picasso; his donation of works of art to Carnegie Institute, Temple Sinai, Hebrew University and Synagogue;
[T3S6] his children and grandchildren; childraising; changes in social awareness, culture, and economy in Pittsburgh;
[T4S7] the economy and labor movement in Israel; his management style; his personal successes; personal regrets; his creation of new products.
Subjects
Artists; Arts; Ben-Gurion, David, 1886-1973; Israel; Labor movement; Meir, Golda, 1898-1978; Politics; Steel industry and trade; United States Steel Corporation; World War, 1939-1945
Birth Date
1914
Profession
Labor leader; Author
Work
United States Steel
Residence
Squirell Hill; Oakland
Occupation (father)
Peddler; Clothing store
Length (hours)
4
Interviewer1
Lehman, Rhea
Interviewer2
Joseph, Florence
Indexer
Joseph, Florence
Collateral Materials
Box 105 FF 41
Identifier
ais196440.395
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh