Davis, Arthur Vining

Davis, Arthur Vining

(1867–1962) industrialist, philanthropist; born in Sharon, Mass. Working with Charles Martin Hall at the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, he poured the first commercial aluminum in 1888. By 1907, as director of the company, he converted it into the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), which he served as general manager, president, and chairman of the board until retiring in 1958. As the nation's premier manufacturer of aluminum, he often had to fend off antitrust suits from the government. He gave most of his $400 million estate to the Davis Foundation, which supports educational, scientific, and cultural institutions.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.