Stern, Rosalie Meyer, 1869-1956

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Rosalie Meyer Stern was a civic and social leader of San Francisco. In 1892, she married Sigmund Stern, the president of Levi Strauss and Company. Following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, Stern converted her house into a Red Cross factory. During World War I, she became the first woman associate field director for military relief in the West; worked with the Red Cross at Camp Fremont Base Hospital; helped furnish troops with supplies; and collected money. In 1917, she served on the Garden Committee of the San Francisco Park and Recreation Department; in 1918, she formed the Garden Hospital Committee for the United States Veterans Hospital Number 24; and in 1919 she was appointed the president of the San Francisco Playground Commission. Stern also bought land that was scheduled for urban development and gave it to the city of San Francisco for the establishment of Sigmund Stern Grove, as a memorial to her husband and helped form a committee to underwrite free summer concerts held in the Grove. She also organized the San Francisco Junior Symphony and was a founder of the San Francisco Opera Association. She held board positions on the board of the World War I Fatherless Children of France (and received the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur from France in 1938); Associated Jewish Charities; Pioneer Kindergarten Society and Children's Agency; Community Chest; and the Women's Board of the San Francisco Museum of Art. She funded construction of Stern Hall, at the University of California, Berkeley; took an active interest in forty-eight scholarships that were established at the University of California, Berkeley by Levi Strauss and Company; and served on the Entertainment Committee for the World's Fair that was held on Treasure Island (1939-1940). She also served on committees of the War Relief Fund and of the National Recreation Association, in addition to being an honorary member of the California Recreation Society.

  • 1861: Eugene Meyer immigrates to Los Angeles from Strasbourg, France.
  • 1867: Meyer marries Harriet Newmark.
  • 1869: Rosalie Meyer is born.
  • 1871 - 1884 : Eugene and Harriet add four daughters and three sons to their family.
  • 1883: Eugene accepts a position at the London, Paris and American Bank. The family relocates to San Francisco.
  • 1891: Rosalie is engaged to Emil Greenebaum but breaks engagement at the request of her father.
  • 1891 - 1892 : Rosalie travels to Paris with Eugene and sister, Elise. Meets Sigmund Stern.
  • 1892: Marries Sigmund Stern.
  • 1893: Gives birth to daughter, Elise.
  • 1895: Eugene Meyer accepts partnership with Lazard Freres and relocates Harriet and Rosalie’s siblings to New York City.
  • 1900: Rosalie and Sigmund build a house on Pacific Street in San Francisco.
  • 1906: Rosalie and Sigmund purchase land in Atherton for a summer home.
  • 1914: Elise marries Walter Haas. Rosalie enrolls in Jessica Peixotto’s American History class at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • 1916: Elise gives birth to Walter Haas, Jr., Rosalie’s first grandchild.
  • 1917: Rosalie joins boards of the Pioneer Kindergarten Society and the Children’s Agency.
  • 1918: Rosalie appointed Associate Field Director of Military Relief for the American Red Cross. Peter Haas is born.
  • 1919: Rosalie appointed to San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Commission.
  • 1925: Rhoda Haas is born.
  • 1928: Sigmund dies of cancer.
  • 1931: Rosalie purchases a tract of land, later named the Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove, and donates it to the City.
  • 1939: Elise is appointed president of the board of Mt. Zion Hospital.
  • 1955: Elise is appointed as trustee of the Museum of Modern Art.
  • 1956: Rosalie dies.
  • 1964: Elise is elected as president of the board of the Museum of Modern Art.
  • 1990: Elise dies.

From the guide to the Rosalie Meyer Stern papers, 1867-1996, (The Bancroft Library)

Relation Name
associatedWith Bancroft Library. Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life corporateBody
associatedWith Goldman, Rhoda H., d. 1996 person
associatedWith Goldman, Richard N., 1920-2010. person
associatedWith Haas, Elise S., 1893-1990. person
associatedWith Judah L. Magnes Museum. WJHC 1971.003 corporateBody
associatedWith Kahn, Zadoc, 1839-1905 person
associatedWith Stern Grove Festival Association (San Francisco, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Stern Hall (Berkeley, Calif.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Stern, Sigmund person
associatedWith Western Jewish History Center. 268 corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country


Birth 1869

Death 1956



Ark ID: w6bp3nmw

SNAC ID: 7891464