Biographical Sketch

Milton A. Wolf
Dr. Milton A. Wolf was born in Cleveland, Ohio on May 29, 1924, the son of Samuel and Sylvia (Davis) Wolf.  He graduated from Glenville High School and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II.  After the war, Wolf attended The Ohio State University and graduated with a B.A. in chemistry and biology in 1948.  He earned a B.S. in civil engineering, summa cum laude and Tau Beta Pi, from the Case Institute of Technology in 1954.  In 1973, Wolf earned a master's degree in economics and went on to earn a Ph.D. in economics in 1993, both from Case Western Reserve University.  Wolf taught at Case Western Reserve University as a distinguished professorial lecturer in economics from 1981 to 1987.  During his life he was awarded a number of honorary degrees, including an LLD in 1980 from Cleveland State University, an LHD in 1980 from Case Western Reserve University, and a Doctor of Diplomacy degree from The Ohio State University in 1997.  Dr. Wolf served on the Board of Trustees of The Ohio State University from 1987 to 1996 and was chairman of the board from 1995 to 1996.  He was a trustee of Case Western Reserve University from 1981 to 1999 and served on the university's Executive Committee from 1983 to 1999.

In 1948, Milton Wolf married Roslyn C. Zehman and entered into his father-in-law's construction company in Cleveland.  As president of Zehman-Wolf Construction Company from 1948 to 1976, Wolf built numerous shopping centers, apartment complexes, and housing developments in the greater Cleveland area.  He was a president and life trustee of the Cleveland Builders Association and an honorary life director of the National Association of Home Builders.  In 1980, he started Milton Wolf Investors, a private real-estate investment company.  Wolf also sat on the boards of the American Greetings Corporation from 1981 to 1998 and Huntington Bancshares, Inc. from 1982 to 1995.

President Jimmy Carter appointed Milton Wolf as ambassador to Austria in 1977, a position Wolf held until February 1980.  As ambassador, Wolf used his position to assist Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union.  In 1979, Wolf served as the U.S. delegate to the United Nations Conference on Science and Technology.  He hosted the 1979 SALT II Summit in Vienna between President Carter and Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev.  Wolf was the only sitting ambassador ever to receive the Great Gold Medal of Honor with Sash, Austria's highest decoration.  After his tenure as ambassador, Wolf remained active in diplomacy and Austrian affairs as chairman of the American Austrian Foundation.  He also served as chairman of the Council of American Ambassadors, was a governor of the United Nations Association of the United States of America, and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  The Austrian government recognized Wolf's achievements in American-Austrian relations by awarding him the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art, First Class, in 1997 and the Austrian-American Medal of Honor in 1999.

Although associated throughout his life with the Democratic Party, Milton Wolf also kept ties to a number of Republican politicians.  His political interests lay with an individual's beliefs and effectiveness in office more than with party affiliation.  A close associate of Richard F. Celeste, Wolf chaired Celeste's successful Ohio gubernatorial campaigns in 1982 and 1986.  Wolf also headed the transition team in late 1982 and early 1983 for Celeste's incoming administration.  In addition, Wolf was active in the political career of former U.S. Senator John H. Glenn.  In 1975, Wolf helped raise funds to retire the debts Glenn compiled in his first successful senate campaign.  Wolf also raised funds for Glenn's 1980 and 1992 re-election campaigns.  During 1983 and 1984, Wolf served as the National Finance Chairman of the John Glenn Presidential Campaign.

A trustee for life of Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Milton Wolf was extremely active in the Jewish community in Cleveland, and later in life, in Jewish concerns worldwide.  During his life Wolf was president of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, was a governor of the Jewish Agency for Israel, and served as a national trustee for both the United Jewish Appeal and the United Israel Appeal.  From 1992 to 1995, Wolf served as president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the international Jewish relief organization.  He was the organization's chairman of the board from 1996 to 1999 and was appointed an honorary president for life in 2000.  As president of the committee, Wolf received the Raoul Wallenberg International Humanitarian Award in 1994 for his efforts overseeing the evacuation of refugees fleeing Sarajevo during the early 1990s.  In 1990, the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland honored Wolf with the Charles Eisenman Award, the federation's most prestigious non-sectarian award.

Milton Wolf died at age 80 on May 19, 2005 of lymphoma, a condition he fought for the last ten years of his life.  Roslyn Z. Wolf, his wife of 52 years, preceded him in death in 2001.  Milton and Roslyn Wolf were the parents of four children: a son, Leslie Eric Wolf, and three daughters, Caryn Sue Wolf Wechsler, Nancy Gail Wolf, and Sheri Hope Wolf.