Clarence T. Reinberger was born in 1894 on Cleveland’s west side, and began his business career in the 1920’s as a pioneer in the automobile replacement parts field. Starting as a clerk in the Cleveland retail store of the National Automotive Parts Association’s (NAPA) Automotive Parts Company, he soon advanced to manager of the firm’s store in Akron. The firm continued to grow, and when Mr. Reinberger became president in 1948 it consisted of forty retail/wholesale stores in Ohio, with warehouses in Cleveland, Columbus, and Charleston, West Virginia.
The firm prospered under Mr. Reinberger’s leadership, and in the 1960’s the Automotive Parts Company merged with the Genuine Parts Company of Atlanta. Mr. Reinberger held the position of Chairman of the Board of Genuine Parts Company until his death in 1968.
Louise Fischer Reinberger was born in Germany. After graduation from high school in the United States, she was employed by the Halle Brothers Company, a large Cleveland department store.
The Reinberger Foundation was established by Mr. and Mrs. Reinberger in 1966. Mr. Reinberger left a substantial bequest to the Foundation at his death in 1968. Upon Mrs. Reinberger’s subsequent death in 1984, the major portion of her estate was also bequeathed to the Foundation. Although the Reinbergers had no children, the Foundation continues to be managed by several generations of Mr. Reinberger’s family.
Since The Reinberger Foundation began funding in 1970, over $124,000,000 has been distributed to the non-profit community.
William Reinberger began his work in Philanthropy in 1970 beside his twin brother Robert. His career as an automotive engineer at TRW gave him a strong counterbalance to his rich understanding of the non-profit institutions of the Greater Cleveland area. He continued his work for over 45 years before moving to Trustee Emeritus in 2015.
Bill’s love of his wife, family, church and community guided his work. His passing on Christmas Eve of 2019 saw him once again reunited with his best friend, brother & twin Bob.
The 4 grandchildren of William as well as one of his daughters serve as Trustees of The Reinberger Foundation.
Robert Reinberger, our long-time Co-Director and Trustee, passed away in 2011. Bob’s tenure at The Foundation began in 1970, and he continued to attend meetings regularly until shortly before his death.
After retiring from a successful career in the aerospace industry in 1986, Bob was able to devote much time and energy to The Reinberger Foundation. Under the guidance of Bob and his identical twin, Bill, the assets of The Foundation grew significantly and through their thoughtful grantmaking, the lives of countless Greater Clevelanders have been improved.
Richard Heer Oman served as Trustee and Secretary of the Board for over thirty years. As a lifelong resident of Columbus, Dick was a strong advocate of The Foundation’s grant program in Franklin County.
Dick was a retired partner of the Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease law firm, and throughout his life was active in the community, serving on many boards. As a longtime summer resident of Nantucket, Massachusetts, Dick was also a founder of the Community Foundation for Nantucket.