The 50 CLUB OF CLEVELAND is made up of top business executives, corporate lawyers and other well-known Cleveland figures who meet to hear prominent speakers and engage in strictly off-the-record, frank discussion. According to its constitution, the club's purpose is to provide an informal organization through which leading citizens representing the business, professional, or cultural life of Greater Cleveland can come to know one another better, understand one another's points of view and become better informed on problems of local, national, and international interest. The club's policy is to not take any formal position on issues or projects.
The 50 Club was formally organized with 43 charter members 8 June 1939 at a dinner meeting at the Union Club. Membership (by invitation only), is based primarily on personal qualification rather than on business or other institutional affiliation. Membership was increased to 55 in 1942, and to 60 in 1946. In 1947 two classes of membership were created--"Active" (membership limit 100) and "Honorary" for those members who have reached the age of 65, who no longer have Greater Cleveland as a principal residence, or who have retired as an active principal executive officer. Regular Club (dinner) meetings are held on the first Monday in the months of October, November, December, January, April, May, and June (the annual meeting), with time and place decided by the Executive Committee. The meetings are open only to members and invited guests. George A. Martin served as the club's first president from 1939-40.