The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
Building on the Quality of Mercy
Harry Weinberg’s family immigrated to the United States from Eastern Europe in 1911. Harry and his siblings grew up knowing firsthand what it was like to have little money but also understood that it took hard work and discipline to escape poverty.
Despite having little formal education, Harry was a gifted entrepreneur from an early age. Just 10 years old, he could be seen on the streets of Downtown Baltimore selling souvenirs to parade-goers celebrating the end of World War I.
Harry left home in his teens to build his future, and in the 1950s and 1960s, he built a diverse, intra-urban transportation empire, owning mass transit bus lines in New York, Scranton, Dallas, and Honolulu. Harry Weinberg accumulated an even larger fortune in securities and real estate. At the time of his death, he was the largest single real estate investor in Hawaii.
Through it all, Harry Weinberg never forgot his humble roots in Baltimore. Even as a young adult during the late 1930s, he pledged his then modest assets to enable many German Jews to reach safe haven in America. In 1959, he created The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to continue his work to help the poor and vulnerable.
The fortune that Harry amassed now has grown to more than $2 billion - the assets that make possible today’s Weinberg Foundation grantmaking. Harry Weinberg died in 1990, a year after his beloved wife, Jeanette, passed away. Their legacy lives on in the good work of the private Foundation that bears their names.
In 2001, Mercy announced a $10 million gift from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to name the building which houses The Weinberg Center for Women’s Health & Medicine. The Weinberg Foundation commitment, the largest to Mercy at the time, was the cornerstone gift to the Building on the Quality of Mercy capital campaign which raised $43 million from 2000 to 2004.