Henry John Heinz, III

Henry John Heinz, III

Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 4 Apr 1991 (aged 52)
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 5895 · View Source
Suggest Edits

US Congressman, US Senator. A member of the Republican Party, he served in the US House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district from November 1971 until January 1977, followed by service in the US Senate from the state of Pennsylvania from January 1977 until his death in April 1991. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania his father was Henry John Heinz II, the heir to the H.J. Heinz Company. Following his parents' divorce in 1942, he moved with his mother and stepfather to San Francisco, California where he was primarily raised. In 1956 he graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, a private college preparatory boarding school in Exeter, New Hampshire, then attended Yale University at New Haven, Connecticut and graduated in 1960, majoring in History, Arts and Letters. In 1963 he graduated from Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts and joined the US Air Force Reserves, remaining with them until 1969. He served as an assistant to Pennsylvania Republican US Senator Hugh Scott and played an active role as assistant campaign manager during Scott's campaign for re-election. Between 1965 and 1970 he worked in the financial and marketing division of the H. J. Heinz Company, after which he became a professor of business at the Carnegie Mellon University's Graduate School of Industrial Administration in Pittsburgh. In 1971 he entered politics after Robert Corbett, who represented Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district died in office. After winning the Republican primary, Heinz won the special election in November 1971 to fill the vacancy created by Corbett's death and was re-elected to Congress in 1972 and 1974. He opted not to run for re-election to his seat in the House of Representatives, choosing instead to run for the open Pennsylvania US Senate seat, created by the retirement of incumbent Hugh Scott in 1976. He won the election and was subsequently re-elected in 1982 and again in 1988. During his time in the US Senate, he was a member of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the Committee on Finance, the National Commission on Social Security Reform, the National Commission on Health Care Reform, the Northeast Coalition, and the Steel Caucus. He also served as chairman of the Subcommittee on International Finance and Monetary Policies, the Special Committee on Aging, and the Republican Conference Task Force on Job Training and Education. On April 4, 1991 he and six other people were killed when a Bell 412 helicopter and a Piper Aerostar with him aboard collided in mid-air above Merion Elementary School in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania. All aboard both aircraft, as well as two children at the school, were killed. The helicopter had been dispatched to investigate a problem with the landing gear of his plane, and while moving in for a closer look, the helicopter collided with the plane, causing both aircraft to lose control and crash. He was 52 years old. Several institutions bear his name, including the H. John Heinz III College at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington DC, and the Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Pennsylvania was named in his honor.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

Family Members




How famous was Henry John Heinz, III?

Current rating:

62 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 13 Jul 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 5895
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry John Heinz, III (23 Oct 1938–4 Apr 1991), Find a Grave Memorial no. 5895, citing Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .