Milton A. Wolf, longtime and honorary Case trustee, alumnus and former U.S. ambassador to Austria, dies at 80
Wolf had a long and distinguished career in public service
Milton A. Wolf, a longtime trustee and an alumnus of Case Western Reserve University and former U.S. ambassador to Austria, died of lymphoma Thursday, May 19. He was 80.
Ambassador Wolf, who was named an honorary trustee of Case after serving on the board from 1981 to 1999, served as U.S. Ambassador to Austria from 1977 to 1980 under President Jimmy Carter. He earned a B.S. in civil engineering, summa cum laude and Tau Beta Pi from the Case Institute of Technology and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Case Western Reserve University, where he has been, for many years, a distinguished professorial lecturer. He earned his Ph.D. in 1993 from the Weatherhead School of Management. He also earned a B.A. in chemistry and biology from Ohio State University and was named a trustee emeritus of Ohio State University.
He received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Case in 1980. He also holds honorary degrees in diplomacy and laws, respectively, from Ohio State University and Cleveland State University.
Wolf had a long and distinguished career in public service. He was the U.S. delegate to the U.N. Conference on Science and Technology in 1979, hosted the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) II Summit in Vienna in 1979 and served as the chairman of the Fulbright Committee of Austria. He played a key role in arranging details of the meeting in Vienna between President Carter and Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev for signing the treaty. He was the only sitting ambassador ever to receive Austria's highest decoration, the Great Gold Medal of Honor with Sash.
He served as a governor of the United Nations Association of the U.S., a member of the board of directors of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, and was chairman of the American Austrian Foundation and a chairman of the Council of American Ambassadors. He also was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Foreign Policy Association, the Academy of Political Science, the American Economic Association, the Cleveland Engineering Society and a trustee of the Council on World Affairs. He served on the boards of the Cleveland Clinic and the Cleveland Orchestra and was a past president of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland. He also served as a national trustee of the United Jewish Appeal and the United Israel Appeal, and was a past president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. In 1994, the committee honored him with its Raoul Wallenberg International Humanitarian Award.
Also a noted real estate developer who oversaw the construction of several Cleveland high-rises and shopping centers, Wolf was president of Zehman-Wolf Construction for 28 years and then served as an investment banker after forming his own company, Milton A. Wolf Investors, a private investment firm, in 1980. He lived in Shaker Heights.
Wolf's wife of 53 years, Roslyn, died in 2001. He is survived by a son, Leslie, of Beachwood; three daughters, Caryn Wechsler of Bethesda, Md., Dr. Nancy Wolf of Pepper Pike and Sherri Wolf of New York City; five grandchildren; and a brother, Sanford, of Shaker Heights.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at The Park Synagogue, 3300 Mayfield Road, Cleveland Heights.
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