LeRoy Salsich

"For his conspicuous success in developing men and methods of mining and transportation of iron ore; for his significant contribution, as operating head of the world's largest iron mining enterprise, to the nation's production of steel so vital to victory in World War II."

AIME William Lawrence Saunders Gold Medal in 1947

Steel from American furnaces won the war, and steel from these same furnaces will be an important factor in winning the peace. To this should be added that the steel that won the war was melted from pig iron produced from ore which came principally from the great open pits near Lake Superior. There is no doubt in the mind of anyone who knows steel that the men from the ranges of Minnesota have been and are performing outstanding service to their country in boosting iron-ore production to an all-time high to meet the demands of war and the now unprecedented peacetime requirements. There is also no doubt in the minds of those who know steel that LeRoy Salsich, recipient of the 1947 William Lawrence Saunders Medal, has been conspicuous as a leader in these achievements.

LeRoy Salsich was born at Hartland, Wisconsin in 1879. He attended the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1901. Immediately there after he entered the employ of Lake Superior Consolidated Iron Mines, at Duluth, which, upon formation of the United States Steel Corporation, became a subsidiary of that organization. From then on, the Oliver Iron Mining Co., as Consolidated was renamed, carried on in the Lake Superior district substantially all the mining operations necessary to supply ore to the operating subsidiaries of U. S. Steel, i.e., Carnegie- Illinois Steel Corp., National Tube Co., and American Steel and Wire Co, At the start, LeRoy Salsich was mining engineer in the general offices at Duluth. In succession he became chief engineer, general superintendent, assistant district manager, general manager, and then, since 1930, president of the company.

An able and aggressive engineer, Mr. Salsich is largely responsible for the introduction of many innovations in open-pit mining, including conversion of steam shovels and locomotives to electric and diesel power, the development of belt conveyors for removing ore from deep open pits, and many others. He has been instrumental in the development of the Hull-Rust and Taconite mines, now famous for their contributions of ore which helped establish world records for the Oliver Iron Mining Co.