Richard Kohnstamm (deceased)
Year Inducted: 1992
Born: April 17, 1926 New York City, NY
Died: April 21, 2006 Portland, OR
Richard Kohnstamm was introduced to the west while training as a Air Force gunner in Colorado. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and a master’s degree from Columbia University, he went to Portland, Oregon. He skied at Mount Hood and became interested in the Timberline Lodge, made famous by WPA construction and the subsequent dedication by President Roosevelt in 1937, but neglected in the 1950s.
Kohnstamm leased the lodge in 1955 and brought it back to life. He promoted social outreach programs for children and the handicapped, with special attention centered on skiing. He pioneered summer ski facilities in 1956. By 1978 he built the first lift in the Unites States for both winter and summer skiing. Timberline Lodge is said to have the longest ski season in the country using Palmer Snowfield, elevation 8,250’. His dedication to Timberline led to it being declared a National Historic Landmark as a ski resort of national acclaim.