Major General Richard King Mellon, U.S. Army Reserve, head of his family's oil, aluminum and banking empire, a prime mover in Pittsburgh's spectacular urban renewal effort and a devoted horseman and big-game hunter, is a modest man who avoids the limelight whenever possible. When, the other day, General Mellon was named Pittsburgh's Sportsman of the Year and invited to attend a banquet in his honor, he predictably declined, until the judge who was to serve as toastmaster issued a mock court order. The award came to Mellon on the 25th anniversary of his chairmanship of the Rolling Rock Hunt charity race meeting at Ligonier, Pa., one of the outstanding steeplechase meets in the U.S. Over the years the two-day meets have earned more than $300,000 for crippled children.
This year Mellon turned the reins over to a friend so he could attend the meet as a spectator—only to find himself in the limelight again. Venetian Glass, a 6-year-old mare selected last May by Mrs. Mellon in Dublin, ran off with the Gold Cup, the big race of the meet. Accepting the trophy, the general had to confess that he was "more thrilled than over anything that has happened in my life."