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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



one of the oldest financial groups in the USA, dominated by a family. An especially large role in the creation of the Mellons’ enormous fortune was played by the banker Andrew Mellon (1855-1937), who gained control of a large part of the US aluminum industry. The company he created, the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), became one of the largest American monopolies. From March 1921 to February 1932, Andrew Mellon served as secretary of the treasury. The group shares control of its industrial and financial empire with the very rich Pitcairn and Heinz families and with one of the country’s largest investment banks, the First Boston Corporation. Assets controlled at the end of the 1960’s totaled more than $25 billion. The total fortune of the members of the Mellon family was estimated at between $1.6 billion and $2.8 billion.

In addition to ALCOA, which produces 35 percent of the aluminum in the USA and about 20 percent in the capitalist world, the Mellon group owns the Gulf Oil Corporation (the seventh largest oil company in the capitalist world in sales), the major military-industrial concern Westinghouse Electric Corporation (which produces electronic apparatus, equipment for atomic power plants, nuclear weapons, and atomic submarines), and a number of steel and machine-building firms.

The Mellon group fills US government orders for aluminum, steel, and oil for military purposes. At the end of the 1960’s 10 percent of ALCOA’s output was being used for the development of the aerospace industry.

The Mellon Bank, a commercial bank with assets of $7.4 billion (1972), and the investment bank First Boston Corporation serve as the group’s credit and financial base. After World War II the group’s financial base was expanded when it gained control of the insurance companies General Reinsurance Corporation and National Union Fire Insurance Company.

The Mellon family owns a large part of a number of major industrial and financial corporations: 55 percent of the stock of ALCOA, more than 70 percent of Gulf Oil, and 20 percent of the First Boston Corporation. Through joint control of stock, the Mellon group is closely associated with the Rockefellers, the Cleveland financial group, and the California financial group. The Mellons have large economic, commercial, and financial interests in the Middle East, Latin America, Western Europe, and Australia.


Men’shikov, S. M. Millionery i menedzhery. Moscow, 1965.
Krupneishie monopolii mira. Moscow, 1968.
Zhukov, E. F. Strakhovye monopolii v ekonomike SShA. Moscow, 1971.
Landberg, F. Bogachi i sverkhbogachi. Moscow, 1971. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.