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Albert M. Greenfield

A Philadelphia Legend

In 1887, a boy destined to become one of America’s most powerful men was born in the Ukraine. His family moved to America in 1896 and settled in Philadelphia, where the young Albert Monroe Greenfield attended public schools.

He dropped out at 15 to work as a clerk for a prominent real estate lawyer, becoming fascinated with the power of property. In 1905, when he was only 17, he opened his own real estate firm, Albert M. Greenfield & Co. The precocious teenage entrepreneur, an instant success, was soon putting together multi-million dollar deals.

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"Mr. Philadelphia"

Albert M. Greenfield was a board member of many civic and philanthropic organizations in Philadelphia and nationally, was active in city politics and played a major role in the highly significant 1960s redevelopment of Philadelphia’s deteriorated, historic Society Hill section where Independence Hall is located.

He remained politically active throughout his life, enjoying close relationships with U.S. Presidents from Herbert Hoover to Lyndon Johnson. His influence was so pervasive that he became known as “Mr. Philadelphia.”

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The Documentary Film

In 2007, The Foundation commissioned a film on the history and impact of Albert M. Greenfield's life and work. Research for the film uncovered the story of an outsider who persistently forged his way into Philadelphia history. The legend of his power and impact on the city is told in a compelling, one-hour television documentary covering four decades of Philadelphia history.

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Highlighted Grantees

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society: Empowering People Through Horticulture

University of Pennsylvania's Dr. John Fantuzzo: Making Urban Education Work for Children

The Academy of Natural Sciences Albert M Greenfield Digital Imaging Center: Harnessing Technology for Museum Research, Information and Education


Highlights from Our Archives

More About the Documentary

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