Foundation History

The Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation, Inc., originally known as the Sigmund Sternberger Foundation, was established by Sigmund Sternberger in 1955 to honor his parents, Herman and Elizabeth Sternberger.

Sigmund Sternberger was born in Darlington, South Carolina, on May 8, 1887. He moved with his family to Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1899, and remained a resident until his death in 1964. His father, Herman Sternberger, and uncle, Emanuel Sternberger, were the founders of Revolution Cotton Mill Corporation in Greensboro.

Sigmund Sternberger started working at Revolution Cotton Mill at a young age as an errand boy and ultimately worked his way through every department and virtually every job provided in the Mill. In 1916, at age 29, he became Assistant Treasurer and a Director of Revolution Mills, and in 1919, he became Treasurer. After Revolution Mills merged with Cone Mills Corporation in 1948, he became a Director of Cone Mills.

Our Mission

Born of the vision, foresight, and generosity of Sigmund Sternberger, the Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation, Inc., is committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Guilford County, North Carolina.

Throughout his life, Sigmund Sternberger was involved in numerous civic, charitable, and religious activities. He served as Treasurer of Temple Emanuel for 47 consecutive years. He was an active member of Revolution Lodge No. 552, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, which was founded by his father, and he became a 32nd Degree Mason and a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor.

Above all, Sigmund Sternberger was a friend to others, especially those in need. He was a generous man whose desire was that the Foundation he established enrich the lives of residents of Guilford County. At his death in 1964, he was survived by his sister, Mrs. Rosa S. Williams, and by his niece, Mrs. Leah Louise B. Tannenbaum, both of whom provided strong and thoughtful leadership to the Foundation as long as they lived. Along with other Directors, Leah Tannenbaum's four children now continue the family's leadership of the Foundation by serving on the Foundation Board. It is the hope of the Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation Directors that recipients of scholarships and other assistance available to them because of Sigmund Sternberger's generosity will be able later in life to continue this tradition of service by contributing money to their colleges or universities or community programs serving people in need.

A Legacy Continued

Sigmund Sternberger died July 19, 1964, at age 77.
During the administration of his estate beginning August 30, 1966, Rabbi Joseph Asher,
L. Richardson Preyer, and Bryce R. Holt served as directors.
On October 3, 1968, Bryce R. Holt, Howard Carr, Sidney J. Stern, Jr., Dr. A.J. Tannenbaum,
Leah Tannenbaum, and Rosa Williams became directors. Leah served as President, Rosa
as Vice President, and Sidney as Secretary-Treasurer.
On December 13, 1968, the Foundation hired Robert O. Klepfer, Jr. as Executive Director.