Nathaniel P. Kann (1903-1989) was born in Baranovich, Russia, while his parents Abraham and Mollie Epstein Kann were immigrating to Pittsburgh.
After a childhood in the lower Hill District, Kann became a real estate developer, building the Bigelow Apartments, the Kenilworth and the College Gardens, among other properties in Pittsburgh. Working with the State of Israel and the Hilton Hotel Corporation, Kann helped finance the construction of the Tel Aviv Hilton in the 1960s.
In addition to his business efforts, Kann volunteered for State of Israel Bonds and the United Jewish Fund, where he was the campaign chair in 1952 and 1953. He served on the Montefiore Hospital board of trustees, in addition to numerous other boards in Pittsburgh. Marist College of Poughkeepsie, New York, gave Kann its Contemporary American Award in 1968, calling him “the man who refuses to stay a millionaire.”
As Israel achieved financial stability, Kann turned his attention to Brazil by investing in Vegetal Industries Corporation, which was engaged in automating production of Brazilian babassu nut oil. He also took the unusual step of issuing loans to employees, telling a newspaper, “Rather than let them get involved in the circle of small loans and high interest, I lend to them myself without interest. This helps my employees and makes for good business since they can work with a freer mind and a much better spirit.”
Nathaniel Kann and his wife Evelyn Kann had two children, Richard and Linda.