Published in The Oregonian
on January 18, 2011
Saltzman, Harold 85
Harold was born in old South Portland, the son of Russian immigrants.
His first job was selling newspapers on a downtown street corner when
he was in third grade. One of his proudest accomplishments, among many,
was when he and his brother, Jack, saved enough nickels from selling newspapers
to buy their mother a washing machine.
Harold was a standout pitcher for Lincoln High School, where he was dubbed
the "Young Prince Hal from Duniway Park" and later elected to
the PIL (Portland Interscholastic League) Hall of Fame. From Lincoln he
went to the University of Oregon, where he studied business. He became
a Hall of Fame pitcher and was elected to Friar's Club, but not before
interrupting his studies to enlist in the U.S. Marines to serve in World
After college, Hal began a successful professional baseball career, culminating
in his becoming the most expensive trade ever from the Pacific Coast League
to the majors. He interrupted his baseball career to re-enlist in the
Marines to serve in the Korean War where he rose to the rank of captain.
Shortly after his return, he met his future wife, Ruth. They became engaged
on their second date and Ruth remained Hal's best friend and a constant
source of joy for 57 years. After his baseball career, Hal went into the
lumber business, eventually striking out on his own and creating American
International Forest Products, which he sold to Forest City Enterprises
After that, Hal teamed up with his friend, Harold Pollin, to try to reclaim
the Portland downtown waterfront from the junkyard, which enabled the
creation of Tom McCall Waterfront Park and RiverPlace. Harold had a number
of other business successes, including as CEO of White Swan, Ltd., a company
founded by his wife, Ruth, which Hal helped grow and eventually sell to
Throughout his life, Harold served as the president or chairman for numerous
charitable organizations, including the Portland Exposition-Recreation
Commission, the Zoomsi Auction, Portland State, the Catlin Gabel School,
the Jewish Federation of Portland, Temple Beth Israel, and the Portland
chapter of the Anti-Defamation League.
Upon his retirement he served on the board of New Avenues for Youth, and
became active with Central City Concern, Oregon Food Bank, and the Neveh
Michael Home for Abused Children in Israel.
Harold is survived by his wife, Ruth; daughter, Debbi Saltzman and son-in-law,
Bruce Cordon; daughter, Cindy Pinkus; son and daughter-in-law, Stephen
and Becki Saltzman; son, David Saltzman; and grandchildren, Isabel Saltzman-Cordon,
Tamir, Ganit and McGwire Pinkus, and Barkley and Dane Saltzman.
Harold's funeral will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, in Temple Beth
Israel Cemetery. The family asks that any memorial contributions be made
to either Central City Concern or the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute.