Andrew W. Mellon, who for almost 40 years led the banking empire that bore his family's name, played a major role in Pittsburgh's industrial economy in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
"He is certainly as important, or more important, than (steel magnate Andrew) Carnegie. Carnegie founded big steel mills, but Mellon founded many other industries," said David Hounshell, the David M. Roderick Professor of Technology and Social Change in Carnegie Mellon University's history department.
"He was the quintessential venture capitalist. Through Mellon Bank or Union Trust, he picked the winners," Hounshell said.
Those "winners" made Pittsburgh one of the nation's …