About the Saigh Foundation
The Saigh (pronounced "sigh") Foundation was created by Fred M. Saigh to serve as a legacy of the gifts he gave throughout his lifetime to the community of St. Louis, Missouri. Fred Saigh touched the lives of many people he barely knew by offering help at critical times in their lives.
The Foundation continues the important work begun by Mr. Saigh by assisting St. Louis area organizations that benefit children and youth, primarily in the areas of education and health care. The Foundation is particularly interested in stimulating the development of new ventures, as well as in supporting organizations that feature innovative approaches or programs. Like Mr. Saigh, the Foundation is especially dedicated to aiding those who might not otherwise receive assistance.
Fred M. Saigh
Fred Saigh was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1905, the son of Lebanese immigrants who owned a chain of grocery stores. An excellent student, he graduated from Northwestern University law school in 1926 at the age of 21.
His commitment to hard work led to his success as a tax and corporate attorney. He then became an investor in historic downtown St. Louis.
In the late 1940s, he and Robert Hannegan, Postmaster General and Democratic Party Chairman, purchased the St. Louis Cardinals. Mr. Saigh became sole owner in 1949. Within a few years he had modernized the team's business methods. He changed the system of selling tickets so that the ordinary fan would have a fair chance to buy choice seats and could buy tickets if the team went to the World Series.
In 1953, Mr. Saigh sold the team for three-quarters of a million dollars less than he would have received from out-of-state interests. He was adamant that the Cardinals stay in St. Louis, and his act ensured that the city kept its team.
In his later years, Mr. Saigh devoted himself to friends and family and to helping those less fortunate than himself.