Businessman David Tod dies

By Joe Gorman


Longtime Mahoning Valley business leader David Tod has died.

Tod, 88, died Wednesday at ValleyCare Northside Medical Center.

“He was very easygoing and generous,” said his son, David Tod II.

The elder Tod lived in Youngstown or the surrounding area his entire life, said his son, and worked in the open hearth at Youngstown Sheet & Tube before starting his career in business.

“He loved the Valley,” David Tod II said.

The elder Tod was the great-grandson of David Tod, the Civil War governor of Ohio, and grandson of William Tod, who contributed to the development of the Mahoning Valley’s iron-and-steel industry and also was the inventor of the Tod Engine.

His family’s philanthropic contributions include the establishment of the Tod Hospital Foundation and the former Tod Children’s Hospital, now Akron Children’s Hospital of the Mahoning Valley.

Tod co-founded Torent Inc., a venture-capital firm that helped develop local companies by providing financial assistance, including McDonald Steel, which was formed from the assets of U.S. Steel. Tod also served as president and chairman of McDonald Steel.

“He was very free-spirited, very entrepreneurial,” David Tod II said of his father. “He was very creative financially, I guess you could say.”

In September 2013, he was awarded the William Holmes McGuffey Pioneer Award for his and his family’s work and involvement with charities across the Valley.

Tod was born in Youngs-town and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After the war, he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1949 and worked for Sheet & Tube and Sharon Steel for several years before joining Merril, Turben & Co. in 1955.

He also was on the board of the Youngstown YMCA for several years and served on the boards of several local charities, his son said.

He also was heavily involved in a project at the Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation in Hubbard to restore an old Tod Engine, said his son. He said that project was one of the last in which he was involved.

“He was a man of few words, but what he did say was very relevant and important,” David Tod II said of his father. “He was more of a thinker than a talker.”

On April 12, 1953, David Tod married the former Elizabeth Ogden at St. John’s Church. She died about two years ago, their son said.

David Tod II said he is thankful he had two great parents.

“I was very blessed to have a great family upbringing and great parents,” David Tod II said.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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