Hayes, Ralph

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Ralph Hayes was born in Crestline, Ohio, on September 24, 1894. After growing up and attending public school in Crestline, Hayes moved to Cleveland, Ohio and studied at Western Reserve University. During his years at Western Reserve, Hayes served as manager of the basketball team and drama club, and was a member of the debating team. He graduated in 1915. While still in college, Hayes worked as an assistant to Mayo Fesler, secretary of the City Club of Cleveland. When Fesler resigned in 1915, Hayes became Secretary. Hayes' lasting contribution to the City Club was the Club's Creed, which he wrote. It was during his tenure with the City Club that Hayes met Newton D. Baker. When Baker was selected by President Woodrow Wilson to become Secretary of War in 1916, Baker chose Hayes to be his private secretary.

During World War I, Hayes served as a private with the 11th Division and was stationed at Camp Meade in Maryland. Later, while serving with the infantry in France, he was commissioned a lieutenant. After the war, Hayes remained in the Army and worked between December 1918 and March 1919 as a liaison officer between the Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces and the American Commission to Negotiate the Peace. He was honorably discharged in May 1919 and went back to work for a short time in the War Department as Assistant to Secretary of War Baker.

From the guide to the Ralph Hayes Photographs, 1900-1960, (Western Reserve Historical Society)

Ralph Hayes was born in Crestline, Ohio, on September 24, 1894. After growing up and attending public school in Crestline, Hayes moved to Cleveland, Ohio and studied at Western Reserve University. During his years at Western Reserve, Hayes served as manager of the basketball team and drama club, and was a member of the debating team. He graduated in 1915. While still in college, Hayes worked as an assistant to Mayo Fesler, secretary of the City Club of Cleveland. When Fesler resigned in 1915, Hayes became Secretary. Hayes' lasting contribution to the City Club was the Club's Creed, which he wrote. It was during his tenure with the City Club that Hayes met Newton D. Baker. When Baker was selected by President Woodrow Wilson to become Secretary of War in 1916, Baker chose Hayes to be his private secretary.

During World War I, Hayes served as a private with the 11th Division and was stationed at Camp Meade in Maryland. Later, while serving with the infantry in France, he was commissioned a lieutenant. After the war, Hayes remained in the Army and worked between December 1918 and March 1919 as a liaison officer between the Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces and the American Commission to Negotiate the Peace. He was honorably discharged in May 1919 and went back to work for a short time in the War Department as Assistant to Secretary of War Baker.

In 1920, Hayes returned to Cleveland and began a career in business and philanthropy which was to last nearly half of a century. From 1920 to 1922, he worked as an assistant to Frederick H. Goff, president of the Cleveland Trust Company. He then worked as an assistant to Will Hayes (no relation), president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. In 1923, Ralph Hayes became Executive Director of the New York Community Trust, a post he held until his retirement in 1967. During his years with the New York Community Trust, Hayes maintained his ties with the corporate community by serving in numerous executive positions. Successively, Hayes worked as Vice-President of Chatham-Phoenix National Bank and Trust Company, Secretary Vice-President of the New York World, and Vice-President of the Transamerica Corporation. He also served many years on the executive staff of the Coca-Cola Company. After serving as Secretary-Treasurer from 1934 to 1935, Hayes was Vice-President until 1948.

Hayes died in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 20, 1977. He was buried in Crestline, Ohio. A lifelong bachelor, he left no immediate survivors.

The Common Wealth Trust, a private charitable foundation administered by the Bank of Delaware, was created under the will of Ralph Hayes. Approximately one-half of the net income from the trust is annually distributed to designated beneficiaries (including the Western Reserve Historical Society), and one-half is used to support the Common Wealth Awards, intended by Mr. Hayes to recognize and foster excellence in the fields of literature, science, invention, sociology, government, public service, dramatic acts, and mass communications.

From the guide to the Ralph Hayes Papers, 1911-1974, (Western Reserve Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn New York Times Company records. Arthur Hays Sulzberger papers, 1823-1999 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Thomas Stilwell Lamont correspondence, 1954-1966. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Bayrd Still Papers, 1947-1983 New York University. Archives.
referencedIn Papers, 1840-1961. Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Papers, 1898-1957 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Papers, 1876-1960 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Papers, 1906-1979 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Papers, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Alexander Woollcott correspondence, ca. 1856-1943 (inclusive), 1920-1943 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Papers, 1888-1964 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Ralph Hayes Papers, 1911-1974 Western Reserve Historical Society
creatorOf Ralph Hayes Photographs, 1900-1960 Western Reserve Historical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Burlingham, Charles Culp, 1858-1959 person
associatedWith Chafee, Zechariah, 1885-1957 person
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
correspondedWith Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886- person
correspondedWith Lamont, Thomas Stilwell, 1899-1967 person
associatedWith New York Times Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Pound, Roscoe, 1870-1964 person
associatedWith Scott, Austin Wakeman, 1884-1981 person
associatedWith Still, Bayrd person
correspondedWith Woollcott, Alexander, 1887-1943 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Hayes, Ralph, 1894-1977--Photograph collections
Hayes, Ralph, 1894-1977
Occupation
Function

Person

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