Matthew G. Herold, Lawyer and Philanthropist
Matthew G. Herold, a retired partner of the Wall Street law firm Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander, and Ferdon; and Honorary Chairman of the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation, a family philanthropy, died December 27, 2021 at his home in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. Mr. Herold was 93.
Mr. Herold lived in Mountain Lakes for 59 years. He spent summers at his homes in Avalon, New Jersey and South Harpswell, Maine.
Matthew G. Herold, Jr. was born in Manhattan on January 7, 1928 to Matthew G. Herold, a lawyer, and Constance Degnan Herold. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale University in 1949, and Harvard Law School in 1952. He was elected to the Harvard Law Review in 1950. Following Harvard, he clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. He also served in the United States Air Force before returning to New York to join the law firm where his father served as partner.
During Mr. Herold’s tenure the law firm became Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Alexander & Mitchell after fellow Pfeiffer Foundation Director Elmer Bobst, a Richard Nixon friend and supporter, convinced Nixon to join as a partner. Mr. Herold, a lifelong Democrat, was forever correcting the assumption that he shared the firm’s Republican leanings.
Mr. Herold moved to Westchester County as a young boy, growing up in Scarsdale, New York.
Among his favorite leisure time pursuits were tennis and platform tennis, an outdoor sport invented in Scarsdale the year he was born. He was a member of Fox Meadow Tennis Club, where the first club platform tennis court was built in 1932. He took pride in his efforts to help the small sport grow by championing the construction of platform tennis courts at the Park Lakes Tennis Club, which he joined when he moved to Mountain Lakes, New Jersey in 1963.
Mr. Herold was also an avid sailor, who loved to venture solo into Casco Bay, the body of water his Maine cottage overlooked.
He and his wife, Joann Reid Herold, were world travelers and both loved to tell the story of having met on a street car in Milan, Italy as college students.
Mr. Herold was known as a master of geography. His lifelong hobby, stamp collecting, reflected that interest, and he assembled thousands of stamps representing countries he’d visited all over the world. Partly through his travels, he grew very knowledgeable about architecture and art history. He loved classical music, jazz and reading a noir detective novel before bed.
Influenced by his woodworking father-in-law, Luther J. Reid, Mr. Herold found a new hobby as an adult – home renovation. He enthusiastically added rooms to his Mountain Lakes and South Harpswell homes, doing everything from plumbing to electrical work himself.
For more than sixty years he served on the Board of Directors of the Pfeiffer Foundation, established by his relative, G. A. Pfeiffer, Chief Executive Officer of William R. Warner, Warner Lambert’s predecessor. The foundation makes grants for the improvement of the public health through medical and pharmaceutical research.
Mr. Herold’s wife of fifty years, Joann Reid Herold, died in 2002. He is survived by his longtime companion, Maureen McGreal; his daughters, Patricia Reid Herold, Diane Degnan Herold and Kathryn Ann Herold; and his grandchildren, Mark Matthew Froot, Catherine Degnan Nagle, David Luther Froot, and James Herold Nagle. His sister Anne Louise Herold Keeney predeceased him.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust or P.O. Box 359, Harpswell, ME 04079 would be gratefully received in his memory to help protect the land and water he loved.