Heckscher, August(1848–1941) mining executive, real estate owner, philanthropist; born in Hamburg, Germany. He came to New York City in 1867 and taught himself English. Through diligence and good fortune, and after managing coal mines in Pennsylvania, he acquired New Jersey land that contained the richest zinc deposits in the U.S.A.; he fought a famous legal battle to keep the land (1887–97). He profited greatly in New York real estate (after 1904). He established the Heckscher Foundation for Children (1921) and donated to day nurseries, dental clinics, parks, and playgrounds.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.