Louis Israel Aaron

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Louis Israel Aaron (Aron)

Birthplace: Mosina, Poznański, Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland
Death: December 31, 1919 (79)
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of Burial: Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Hirsch Israel Aron and Rachael Aron
Husband of Yetta (Henrietta) Aaron; Rosa Aaron and Mina Aaron
Father of Della Aaron; Rose Aaron; Meyer Aaron; Hattie Aaron; Marcus Aaron and 1 other
Brother of Amalia Abraham; Henrietta (Hannah) Cohen; Auguste Baum; Sophie Aron Neumann; Pauline Aron Gerechter and 1 other

Managed by: Randy Schoenberg
Last Updated:

About Louis Israel Aaron



Louis Israel Aaron (1840-1919) was born in Moschin, in present-day Poland. He immigrated to the United States from Hamburg in 1857 and came to Pittsburgh about 1861.

In September 1894, Aaron incorporated the Louis I. Aaron Company, a malt manufacturing business. He later became president of the Homer Laughlin China Company of East Liverpool, Ohio, and the Newell Street Railway Company and the North American Manufacturing Company, both of Newell, West Virginia.

In 1910, for his 70th birthday, Aaron donated $59,800 to numerous charities, including the J.M. Gusky Orphanage and Home and the Irene Kaufmann Settlement House, and a $25,000 contribution toward the founding of the Hebrew Institute of Pittsburgh. He paid particular attention to hospitals and orphanages, and his donations were not limited to his faith or to his city. The donations attracted considerable media attention.

“It’s nothing to make a fuss about,” Aaron told reporters at the time. “I just got to thinking that I would enjoy seeing some good done with my money while I was alive. You know, the flowers you pick while you are living are a whole lot sweeter than the kind they put on your grave.”

Louis Aaron married Mina M. Lippman on October 21, 1866, 17 days after becoming a United States citizen. They had five children, although only two sons, Marcus and Charles, survived to adulthood.

Marcus Aaron (1869-1954) attended the Conway School and the Preparatory Department of the University of Western Pennsylvania. Marcus succeeded his father at the Louis I. Aaron Company and Homer Laughlin China. He also gained local recognition as a long-serving member of the Pittsburgh Board of Education. He joined the board in its inaugural year in 1911 and retired in 1947, serving as its president from 1922 to 1942. He served on the state Board of Education from 1916 to 1921 and the state Council of Education from 1921 to 1923. Aaron was an advocate for retaining the elected status of school board members to shield them from political influence. On the state level, he was instrumental in passing the Edmunds Act in 1933, which established salary schedules for teachers.

“Universal education is not a panacea for every ill, but it is a necessary preventative of many ills to which democracy is subject,” Aaron said in a 1919 address. “Our democracy will function and endure only if our citizens learn to think clearly and correctly.”

Marcus Aaron married Stella Hamburger (1877-1950) in November 1898. They had two children, Marcus Lester (1900-1994) and Fannie Hamburger (1902-1952).

Marcus Lester Aaron became the president of Homer Laughlin China. In 1926, he married Maxine Goldmark (1903-1996), who continued the family commitment to public education.

Maxine Goldmark’s father, Emil Goldmark, came from a line of Austro-Hungarian cantors, but was an “avowed agnostic,” according to her daughter, Frances Aaron Hess. Maxine Goldmark’s mother, Maxine Heller Goldmark, was also a teacher. A student of the Horace Mann School for Girls and a graduate of Vassar College, Maxine Goldmark Aaron wanted career opportunities beyond the classroom. Her involvement in the local school system began at home, with all four of her children attending public school. She was active in the local Parent Teacher Association, serving as its president until her 1948 appointment to the school board. She was vice president of the board from 1953 to 1956 and its first female president from 1966 to 1969. She retired in 1975. Known for her modest style, she dealt with inadequate funding, struggles to integrate the school system racially and the 1968 teachers’ strike.

“The quality of life in American cities will depend in large measure on the character and quality of Public Education,” she wrote to Judge Henry Ellenbogen in 1975. “It is my earnest hope that the community will continue to support the Public Schools and that the Board will furnish the necessary leadership as trustees for all the children of Pittsburgh.”


  • Residence: Allegheny, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA - 1880
  • Residence: Allegheny Ward 5, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA - 1900
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Louis Israel Aaron's Timeline

October 18, 1840
Mosina, Poznański, Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland
December 14, 1869
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States
April 7, 1873
Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA
December 31, 1919
Age 79
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States
January 1920
Age 79
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States