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Ira D. Wallach: Wikis


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Ira David Wallach (June 3, 1909 – January 6, 2007) was an American businessman and philanthropist. He was head of Central National-Gottesman, the largest privately held marketer of paper and pulp products.


Life and career

Born in New York City, he earned his B.A. and law degrees from Columbia University. He served as a Navy lieutenant in World War II.

He married Miriam Gottesman Wallach in 1938. He joined Gottesman & Company as Executive Vice President in 1946. He served as CEO from 1956 to 1979. During his tenure, the company grew to become the world’s largest private marketer of wood pulp, paper and newsprint. He later served as chairman, then senior vice chairman until his death.

Activism and philanthropy

Wallach's activism against the Vietnam War landed him on the master list of Nixon political opponents.

His foundation funded an orientation hall at the American Museum of Natural History. At Columbia University, the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery is named after him and his wife. There is also a professorship in his name.

His namesake dormitory at Columbia, Wallach Hall, is the source of some controversy. It was previously named Livingston Hall, after Robert Livingston (1746-1813) of the Class of 1765, who served as U.S. Minister to France and on the Committee of Five which drafted the Declaration of Independence. Wallach gave approximately $2 million to renovate the building, leading to an undergraduate joke that "Livingston signed the Declaration, but Wallach signed a check." In truth, Livingston was recalled from the Continental Congress by the New York State Legislature before he could sign the historic document.


  • McFadden, Robert (January 8, 2007). Ira D. Wallach, 97, a Philanthropist, Dies. New York Times

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