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Read articles and learn more about the Cincinnati Chamber through our related news articles

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Metro, City of Cincinnati Partner to Benefit City Employees
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.

Patricia A. Corbett

Awarded In 1994
1908 – 2008

Patricia Corbett was a Renaissance woman. Her life-long interest in the performing arts, education, medicine and architecture, combined with her philanthropy, have touched countless lives in immeasurable ways.

Mrs. Corbett grew up in Long Island, N.Y., where she developed a love for music, dance and theater at an early age. She graduated from Columbia University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science.

In 1934, Mrs. Corbett and her husband, J. Ralph, moved from New York to Cincinnati, where he founded NuTone Inc., maker of the world’s first low-cost door chimes and other home items.

When the Corbetts sold NuTone in 1967 for $30 million, they put half of the proceeds into the Corbett Foundation, which they established to grant funding to organizations involved in the arts, education, medicine and community activities. The foundation has given away more than $30 million since 1955, mostly to Cincinnati endeavors.

Mrs. Corbett, chairwoman of the foundation, was known as a person of great vision, yet detail-oriented and with a hands-on involvement in the particulars and practicalities of projects.

“Giving away money wisely is very hard work,” she said. “You have to study up and figure out what will do the most good for the most people.” From the beginning, the Corbetts believed that more is accomplished when money is given in massive, concentrated doses than in “dribs and drabs.”

Cincinnati’s Music Hall, the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and Riverbend Music Center have been major beneficiaries of Mrs. Corbett’s giving.

Mrs. Corbett served on many boards, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera and the Wellness Community.

The late J. Ralph Corbett was honored as a Great Living Cincinnatian in 1970.

Patricia Corbett died on January 28, 2008 at 99.

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