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G.W. Wolf

WWI submarine commander, steel executive

George W. Wolf was born in Pittsburgh in 1892 but spent most of his life traveling the world.  A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Wolf served as a submarine commander during World War I.  He was a recipient of the Navy Cross and resigned as at the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1926 at the age of 34.  After leaving the Navy, Wolf became engaged with General Motors Overseas Operations.  For ten years, Wolf represented GM in Europe and Argentina.  He was appointed Vice President of GM in 1936 and returned stateside to Detroit.  Two years later he was transferred from Detroit to New York.  He left GM soon after to accept the position of president of the Export Company, a subsidiary of United States Steel.  Wolf spent twenty one years with US Steel, both with the Export Company and as president of Isthmian Steamship Company, also a US Steel Subsidiary.

Wolf’s military background was put to good use by US Steel and part of Wolf’s duties included oversight of the post WWII planning for the company.  He did similar post war planning work for the City of New York and the Commerce and Industry Association of New York State.  These assignments followed a 1948 mission to Germany Wolf undertook at the request of the Secretary of the Army to access the country’s steelmaking capabilities in the aftermath of the war.  In 1949 Wolf traveled to Pakistan at the request of that country’s government to survey the steel industry’s role in Pakistan’s program of economic development.  By 1956, Wolf had been made chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council.

Wolf appears frequently in Pittsburgh papers, coming to town as a speaker at many conferences and business events.  At the time of his death in 1962, he was living in Connecticut, having settled down after a long, worldwide career.  His memorial services were held in Southport, Connecticut but he returned to Pittsburgh where he was interred with his family, most of whom appeared to have stayed in the city.


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