CHICAGO Sol Siegal, 88, founder and chairman emeritus of Olympic Steel Inc., died May 23, the steel processor and distributor said.
The youngest of 10 children, Siegal served in the U.S. Army during World War II and entered the steel business in 1946. In 1954, he and his oldest brother, Sam, founded Olympic Steel and began selling steel from a rented warehouse in Cleveland, Olympic said. Thirty years later, Sols son and current chairman and chief executive officer, Michael D. Siegal, purchased the privately owned family business and turned it into a publicly traded company.
"We announce the passing of our companys founder with great sadness; however, we are proud to recognize a legendary American who led a full and remarkable life," Michael Siegal said. "My fathers dedication to Olympic Steel was equaled only by his commitment to community service and philanthropy."
A former board member of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Siegal was also active in the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, where he recently earned honors for his achievements. He received the Tree of Life Award from the Jewish National Fund in 2010 and the Metals Service Center Institutes President Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2004.
He began a scholarship fund for employees of the Bedford Heights, Ohio-based company in 2004 that has provided financial support for more than 80 Olympic Steel employees family members.
"The best way for us to honor him is to maintain and expand upon the high standards of business excellence and social responsibility that he embodied throughout his life," his son added.