Fred Hutchinson James Delmage Ross Dixy Lee Ray George W. Bush Hazel Wolf Henry M Jackson Warren G. Magnuson Home
Search Encyclopedia
Advanced Search
Featured Essay
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
7100 essays now available      
Donation system not supported by Safari     Donate Subscribe


Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search


Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Samuel Stroum dies on March 9, 2001. Essay 3135 : Printer-Friendly Format

On March 9, 2001, Samuel Stroum (1921-2001), Seattle businessman and philanthropist, passed away after an 11-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Stroum left an immeasurable legacy of endowment and civic patronage, and inspired many other entrepreneurs and business leaders to philanthropy. Gifts from Stroum family foundations benefited more than 300 charitable organizations, and in the 1990s alone totaled over $40 million -- for arts, health, educational, and religious organizations.

Born in Waltham, Massachusetts, on April 14, 1921, Samuel Stroum came to Seattle in 1939 with the Army Air Corps as a flight engineer and crew chief in charge of ferrying Boeing B-17 bombers throughout the nation. He met his wife Althea (Diesenhaus) (1922-2011) at the Jewish USO and they were married in 1942. Stroum's early business venture as an electronics distributor led to the founding of ALMAC/Stroum electronics. In the 1960s he purchased Schuck's Auto Supply and in 1984 sold it to Pay 'n Save for $70 million. Stroum, as a venture capitalist, invested in concerns which have become known as signature Seattle -- biotechnology, Starbucks, the Seahawks, and software (Egghead Discount Software).

Stroum's business ventures fueled his philanthropy. Beneficiary organizations included United Way, the Jewish Federation of Seattle, the University of Washington, Benaroya Hall, the Seattle Art Museum, Medic One, and many hospitals. In 1982, when the Jewish Community Center faced bankruptcy, Stroum led a campaign that brought in $4.2 million in two months, and saved the center from closing. The single largest gift of the Stroum foundations was $10 million to Brandeis University in his hometown of Waltham, Massachusetts.

Stroum served as president of the University of Washington Board of Regents. Other boards he served on included the UW Medical Center, the Seattle Symphony, and SeaFirst Bank. He received honorary degrees from Brandeis, Whitworth College, and Seattle University.

Samuel Stroum was survived by his wife Althea, and daughters Cynthia Stroum and Marsha S. Glazer, siblings Herman Stroum, Joseph Stroum, and Gertrude Bertham and grandchildren Adam, Tamara, and Scott Sloan, and Courtney Stroum Meagher.

"Sam Stroum's Seattle," The Seattle Times, March 13, 2001, (; "Patron Samuel Stroum, Known to Many as Godfather of Giving, Dies at 79," The Seattle Times, March 13, 2001, (; Meta Buttnick, "Samuel Stroum: A Man to Be Proud Of," Nizkor, (Summer 2001); "Mentor, Friend: Seattle Jewish Community Mourns the Loss of a Leader," The Transcript March 23, 2001, p 1, 11.
Note: This essay was updated on March 21, 2011.

Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Related Topics: Biographies | Jews in Washington | Business |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

Samuel Stroum (1921-2001)
Courtesy Stroum Enterprises

Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM) is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email