Melvin Salomon

CHICAGO – On Sept. 16, Melvin Salomon, 100, died. Salomon was the president of the North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) in 1965-66, and received NAMP’s most prestigious award, the Angus Award, in 1968.  

He was an icon in the meat business, wrote Barry Carpenter, CEO; Phil Kimball, executive director; and Rosemary Mucklow, director emeritus, of the North American Meat Association (NAMA) in a statement to NAMA members announcing his passing. “Mel bought the Allen Brothers meat company in 1938, and was the president and chairman for 61 years,” they added. “He retired in 2001.He was also a founder of the National Association of Hotel and Restaurant Meat Purveyors, which later became NAMP.”

Salomon, along with fellow NAMP member Clarence Becker, was a leading advocate for developing the NAMP Meat Buyer’s Guide in 1961. The Guide still serves as the premier resource for foodservice purchasing of meat cuts. During his years of involvement with the organization, Salomon also helped author the NAMP Code of Ethics.

Salomon was also a major proponent of efforts that led to correcting problems brought on by the imposition of price controls and rationing during World War II in the 1940s. And he was credited for helping to preserve the integrity of the US Department of Agriculture grading system by chairing an ad hoc coalition of purveyors, retailers, foodservice operators and members of academia to successfully defeat efforts by packers and USDA to change meat-grading standards that would have lessened the quality of foodservice beef.

“Mel was inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame in 2011,” the NAMA statement said. “Just this past Saturday [Sept. 13], he introduced this year’s inductees at the Hall of Fame dinner by videotape.”

He was a member of the Jewish Federation, chairman of the Chicago Jewish Charities and during the 1960’s he was the recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s Man of the Year, which was presented by then-New York Mayor John Lindsay.

Granddaughter Debby Cole said his funeral will be on Sept. 21, at 2 pm CDT at Oak Woods Cemetery, 1035 East 67th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 (773)-288-3800. Shiva to follow immediately after the service at 879 Sumac Road, Highland Park, Ill. 60035.

The family has requested no flowers, and that any donations in his name be made to the charity of your choice. 

“Mel’s legacy is far-reaching. He was a friend and industry leader who joined with other like-minded leaders to establish one of the foundations of NAMA and its programs that still benefit the meat industry today. Our thoughts and prayers go to Mel’s family and his long-time friends,” NAMA’s statement concluded.