Cincinnati Chamber unveils the new five-year strategic framework to foster regional growth

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Recognize & Celebrate businesses & people

Great Living Cincinnatians: Honorees

Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.

George Rieveschl, Jr.

Awarded In 1990
1916 – 2007

Rieveschl, 74 at the time of his award, spent many years as a researcher, educator, business executive and community supporter. He was perhaps best known for inventing Benadryl, the first commercial antihistamine agent, while an instructor at the University of Cincinnati.

Born in Arlington Heights, Rieveschl attended the Ohio Mechanics Institute and then the University of Cincinnati for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and his doctorate. He has also been awarded honorary doctor of science degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Wayne State University.

He began his career as a chemical engineering instructor at the University of Cincinnati in 1940 and became an assistant professor in 1942. The following year Rieveschl joined Parke, Davis & Co. in Detroit as a senior research chemist, but returned to UC as vice president for research and development and adjunct professor of materials science in 1970. In 1972 he became vice president for special projects and adjunct professor in environmental engineering as a volunteer.

Rieveschl was one of the founders of UC’s Charles McMicken Society and was its chairman for more than 10 years. He initiated the collaboration between UC and the EPA’s Environmental Research Center. Rieveschl was also the founding chairman of the University of Cincinnati Foundation and led the foundation from 1977 to 1981. In 1987 the University of Cincinnati named its main science building after him.

His community involvement included the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, Cincinnati Nature Center, Greater Cincinnati Bicentennial Commission, Cincinnati Commission on the Arts, Cincinnati Chamber Music Society, Cincinnati Zoo, Lloyd Library and Museum and WGUC-FM.

Rieveschl also served on the boards of the Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co., Access Corp. and Ohio National Life Insurance Co. He was an advisor to the Center for Management of Advanced Technology and Innovation at UC and a member of the Board of Governors of the Queen City Club.

In 1979 Rieveschl and his wife, Joan, were named Cincinnatians of the Year by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. His other awards include the University of Cincinnati Award for Excellence, UC’s Alumni Association Awards for Distinguished Service, the William Howard Taft Medal and the Hochstetter Prize. He has also won Outstanding Chemist of Award from Alpha Chi Sigma and the John T. Faig Award from the Ohio College of Applied Science.

Nominate a Great Living Cincinnatian

Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization