March 26, 1973
Frederick Carl Matthaei Sr.
University of Michigan
Detroit Olympic Committee Chairman (1936 – 1964)
Philanthropist, Industrialist, Sportsman
Frederick Matthaei was born in Detroit, Michigan graduating from the University of Michigan in 1914. Matthaei formed his own manufacturing concern, the American Metal Products Company in 1917 and remained with the company in some fashion until his retirement in 1958. Matthaei was a part-owner of the Detroit Lions for many years. From 1936 – 1964 he served as Chairman of the Detroit Olympic Committee that tried on numerous occasions to bring the Olympic Games to Detroit. In preparation for a successful Olympic bid several facilities were built on the Wayne State campus. Matthaei’s philanthropic endeavors ranged from young to old and from people to animals. In 1957, he donated his 800-acre estate for a University of Michigan golf course and the university’s world famous Matthaei Botanical Gardens. He also served on the university’s Board of Regents. Frederick Matthaei was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1964. He passed away on March 26, 1973 at 80 years of age.