BLOSSOM, DUDLEY S. (10 Mar. 1879-7 Oct. 1938), was a Cleveland businessman and philanthropist whose charitable activities eventually led him to civic office as city welfare director. Blossom, the son of Henry S. and Lela Stocking Blossom, after earning an A.B. degree from Yale, became associated with the Perry-Payne Corp., Payne-Bingham Co., Standard Tool Co., Cleveland Hobbing Machine Co., Blossom Lock Co., and Central Natl. Bank, serving each as a director or officer. He served with the Red Cross in France during WORLD WAR I and in 1919 was appointed Cleveland city welfare director, a position he retained until 1921, then again from 1924-32. As welfare director, Blossom was a progressive innovator, gaining national attention for city human services projects, including City Hospital and Blossom Hill Home.

As a substantial contributor to the Community Fund, Blossom became fund chairman in 1934 and was appointed honorary chairman for life in 1938. He headed the campaign that raised the funds required to match JOHN L. SEVERANCE's $2.5 million donation to build SEVERANCE HALL. Blossom served as president of the MUSICAL ARTS ASSOC. and was a trustee of the Negro Welfare Fund, UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS, and Cleveland College. In the mid-1930s he was chairman of the GREAT LAKES EXPOSITION, and also served 1 term as state representative. Blossom married Elizabeth Bingham, heiress to Oliver Hazard Payne's Standard Oil fortune, on 29 Sept. 1910. They had 2 children, Dudley S., Jr., and Mary.


Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

Finding aid for the Dudley S. Blossom Family Papers. WRHS.

View image in Ethel Standiford Photograph Collection. WRHS 

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