Harvey Seeley Mudd bigraphy, stories - American mining engineer

Harvey Seeley Mudd : biography

1888 - April 12, 1955

Harvey Seeley Mudd (born Leadville, Colorado 1888, died Los Angeles 12 April 1955) was a mining engineer and founder, investor, and president of Cyprus Mines Corporation, a Los Angeles–based international enterprise that operated copper mines on the island of Cyprus.Lavender, David (1962). The story of the Cyprus Mines Corporation. San Marino, CA: Huntington Library. . The science and engineering college Harvey Mudd College was named in memory of him. He was also a Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the California Institute of Technology.

His father, Colonel Seeley W. Mudd (1861–1926) was also a mining engineer. In 1907 he developed the Ray Copper Mine in Arizona, which is still in production.

Harvey S. Mudd's remains are interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale, California.


Mudd became a member of the Board of Trustees for the California Institute of Technology in 1929. He served on both the finance committee and the executive committee. He later served as Vice President of the Board of Trustees.

In 1954, Caltech faculty member Linus Pauling, upon winning the Nobel Prize in chemistry, sent Mudd a letter thanking Mudd and the Caltech Board of Trustees for "providing here an atmosphere, second to none in the world, that is favorable to research."

Mudd's will left $50,000 to Caltech for research on the genesis of ore deposits.

Two geology buildings at Caltech are named for Harvey Mudd's family: the Seeley G. Mudd Building (South Mudd) is named for his brother, and the Seeley W. Mudd Laboratory (North Mudd) is named for their father.

Early life

Harvey Mudd was born in Leadville, Colorado, in 1888. Mudd's father, Colonel Seeley W. Mudd, was the manager of the Small Hopes silver mine in Leadville. Mudd's mother was Della Mullock Mudd.

Harvey Mudd had a younger brother, Seeley G. Mudd (1895–1968), who became a physician and cancer researcher at the California Institute of Technology. Seeley G. Mudd was later professor and dean at the School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.Nancy M. Shader and Christopher Shannon, Princeton University.

In 1902, Col. Seeley Mudd moved his family to Los Angeles, California, where Col. Mudd worked as a consulting engineer for the Guggenheim Exploration Company.

Harvey Mudd attended Stanford University for two years. He then transferred to Columbia University. He received a degree in mining engineering in 1912.

Civic leadership

At the time of Mudd's death, he was Chairman of the Board of the Southern California Symphony Association, the Welfare Federation of Los Angeles, and Greater Los Angeles Plans, Inc. He was a trustee and former president of the Southwest Museum, a member of the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and member of the advisory committee of the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. He was also Chairman of the Board of Fellows of Claremont College.

As Chairman of the Southern California Symphony Association, Mudd is credited with saving the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Fellow copper baron William Andrews Clark, Jr. had founded the Philharmonic in 1919, but he had exhausted his fortune supporting the orchestra. To oversee the Philharmonic, the Southern California Symphony Association was created in 1933 with Mudd as chairman. Mudd personally guaranteed the salary of conductor Otto Klemperer. Mudd led fundraising efforts to enable the Philharmonic to continue performing through the Great Depression. Mudd is also credited with starting the Philharmonic's tradition of taking the stuffiness out of high culture.

He was initiated as an honorary member of the Beta Psi chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men in music, in 1941.


Mudd died of a heart attack on April 12, 1955, at his home in Beverly Hills, California. He was 66 years old. He was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

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