Stanford Z. Rothschild Jr., a prominent Baltimore money manager and philanthropist, died of respiratory failure Feb. 13 at his home in Pikesville. He was 91.
Born and raised in Baltimore near Pimlico Race Course, he was the son of Stanford Z. Rothschild, the owner of an insurance company, and Marie L. Rothschild, a longtime community leader who was active with The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, Sinai Hospital, the Baltimore regional chapter of the American Red Cross and other groups.
Mr. Rothschild graduated from City College and studied at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated first in his class with a bachelor's degree in economics.
Toward the end of World War II, Mr. Rothschild served as an officer in the Navy before going to work for Sun Life Insurance Co. of America, the business started by his family in 1890. He was president and CEO of the company from 1966 to 1971.
Mr. Rothschild didn't particularly enjoy working in insurance, said his son David Rothschild.
"The insurance business was the family business, but his love was investing," David Rothschild said.
His father helped negotiate the merger of Sun Life with another company, Kaufman and Broad Inc., then turned to his favored career. In 1973, he founded the Rothschild Co., an investment management firm.
He sold the company to United Asset Management 13 years later.
In 1999, Mr. Rothschild founded Rothschild Capital Management. That company merged in 2013 with one founded by his son David, Rothschild Capital Partners.
He was active in the Republican Party, his son said.
"He cared about politics because it impacted everything, particularly economics," said David Rothschild.
Mr. Rothschild was also an avid art collector, and had a particular interest in avant-garde Russian works. He was as interested in the history of the paintings he bought as in the art itself. A lot of the art expressed themes of political oppression.
Mr. Rothschild would often fall into deep intellectual conversations about his collection.
"He would have people come to the house to talk about the art," David Rothschild said. "He loved to give tours and talk about the art. It was not about the beauty — it was about the purpose or the political meaning or the intent. It was beyond the aesthetic."
David "Spud" Greif of Baltimore, a friend who knew Mr. Rothschild since grade school, described him as "intellectually intense," and as one of the smartest people he knew. He was also outspoken, said Mr. Greif.
"He had no patience with people who weren't up to his level," Greif said. "He could be tough."
Mr. Rothschild managed his art as he did investments, looking for pieces with the best value. He raised substantial amounts of money for his philanthropic interests by selling pieces of art, his son said.
He provided major endowments to The Associated and the Central Scholarship program, which provides scholarships and interest-free loans to college students.
A gathering in Mr. Rothschild memory was held Feb. 20 at Linwoods in Owings Mills. Funeral services were private.
In addition to his son, Mr. Rothschild is survived by his wife, Cory Rothschild of Pikesville; a daughter, Ellen Dame of Cockeysville; three stepsons, David Balenson of Olney, Brian Balenson of Owings Mills and Jeffrey Balenson of Pikesville; and many grandchildren. Two previous marriages ended in divorce.