Irvin Ferdinand Westheimer (September 19, 1879 – December 31, 1980) is best remembered for being the founder of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Westheimer, an American businessman, banker and philanthropist from Ohio, began the Big Brothers movement on July 4, 1903, when he discovered a young boy rummaging through a garbage pail outside the rear entrance to his office. Westheimer befriended the boy, who had no father, and began to urge his close friends to get involved as "big brothers" with other young boys from fatherless homes.

In 1908, Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt learned of the Big Brothers movement and organized the first "Big Sisters" program in New York City. The two organizations came together in 1997, and merged to become known as the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Irvin Westheimer."