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STRAUS, NATHAN (1848-1931).

Merchant and philanthropist. Born in Germany, Straus served as president of the New York City Board of Health in 1898. He came to hold this office out of a deep interest in public health. In 1890, he had established a system for the sterilization and distribution of milk to the poor of New York. He installed his own laboratory and distributed pasteurized milk in many cities in the U.S. and abroad. During the panic of 1893-1894, he started a chain of groceries to distribute coal and groceries to the needy. Straus retired from R.H. Macy and Co. in 1914; during World War I, he became a one-man society to relieve the suffering of people all over the world. Deeply interested in Palestine, he joined the Zionist movement, repeatedly visited Palestine, and founded the Nathan and Lina Straus Health Centers of Hadassah, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. His self-sacrifice and generosity won him the love and respect of millions.

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