In Memoriam: Clifford H. Goldsmith (HON ’06)

The NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering mourns the passing on June 25, 2014 of much-admired former trustee and board vice chair, Clifford H. Goldsmith (HON ’06). 

In 1986, Clifford was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Polytechnic University, now NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, and served as Vice Chairman. Early in his 19 year tenure on the board, Clifford co-founded the Promise Scholarship Fund which provides scholarships to exceptional students with financial need. Thanks to his vision, the Promise Scholarship Fund thrives today enhancing our ability to provide critical resources to diverse students seeking a high-quality STEM education. In recognition of his contributions, he was presented with the Polytechnic Distinguished Service Award for Science and Technology in 1998. In 2006, Clifford's legacy of achievements was further acknowledged with an honorary degree.

Born September 6, 1919 in Leipzig, Germany, Clifford graduated from Bradford University, Yorkshire, England, with a degree in textile engineering, and later emigrated to the United States in 1940. He served in the United States Army during World War II, and was held as a prisoner of war in Germany. In 1945 he joined the Benson & Hedges Company, ultimately becoming President of Philip Morris Incorporated from 1978 until 1984.

The NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering leadership and community have lost an exceptional leader and humanitarian. His dedication to advance our mission will long be remembered. We extend our condolences to his wife, Katherine, his two daughters, and the entire Goldsmith family.


Ralph C. Alexander
Chairman of the Board
Jeffrey H. Lynford
Deputy Chairman of the Board
Katepalli R. Sreenivasan
Eugene Kleiner Chair for Innovation
in Mechanical Engineering