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GUND, GEORGE

GUND, GEORGE (13 Apr. 1888-15 Nov. 1966), head of Cleveland Trust Bank (AMERITRUST) and philanthropist, was born to Cleveland brewery owner and real-estate investor, George Frederick Gund, and his wife, Anna Louise (Metzger), in La Crosse, Wis. In the first graduating class of Harvard Business School, Gund started banking in Seattle. When his father died, Gund returned to Cleveland. He acquired the Kaffee Hag Corp., makers of decaffeinated coffee and, after refining the process of extracting caffeine (which he sold to Coca-Cola), he sold the company for $10 million. He then turned to real estate and banking.

During the Depression, Gund bought good-quality stocks at bargain prices. By 1937, he was hired by Cleveland Trust, first as a director, and then, in 1941, as president. Gund expanded the bank's financial power base in Cuyahoga County through loans and investments and, to strengthen its ties to business, served on more than 30 corporate boards. In addition being bank president until 1962 and board chairman from 1962-66, Gund was an officer, trustee, or director of 14 civic, philanthropic, and educational institutions. Two Harvard professorships were established in his honor in 1964 and 1966. Gund collected western art, notably the work of Frederic Remington. In 1936, Gund married Jessica Roesler (d. 1954) and had 6 children: George III, Agnes, Gordon, Graham, Geoffrey, and Louise. Having provided for his children before his death, he left most of his $600 million estate to his GEO. GUND FOUNDATION. Gund died in Cleveland of acute leukemia and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.