Saul Haas (1896-1972)
Saul Haas fashioned a rich, full life out of many careers-as a journalist, political confidante, broadcaster, and humanitarian. Among his many legacies is the Saul and Dayee G. Haas Foundation, committed to improving the quality of life among students in need. By supporting secondary schools throughout the state of Washington, the Foundation's goal is to encourage students to stay in school, return to school, or get involved within their learning community.
In a column on Saul's death, The Seattle Times TV writer Chet Skreen remembered him as "one of broadcasting's most colorful characters." Saul's career as a journalist began at the Portland News in 1918 and spanned many decades, culminating with his tenure as chairman of the board of KIRO Broadcasting and the sale of its properties to the Bonneville Broadcasting Corporation.
Edward R. Murrow was an old friend of Saul's. They met in Europe where Saul reported on the events surrounding V-Day and postwar Europe. They shared the journalism connection, the CBS connection, and became lifelong friends. Murrow would come West regularly to visit his mother in Bellingham and to stop at KIRO-TV. In a thank you note to Saul, Murrow said, "Seattle always feels like home to me."
Saul believed strongly in the role of public education. His daughter, Deesa, attended Garfield High School, which serves a large minority population. Saul discovered that some critical needs of the school's poorer students were not being met - needs such as adequate clothing, eyeglasses, athletic uniforms, shoes, musical instruments, testing and tutoring fees, and the opportunity to participate in field trips. Saul wrote a check for $500 and gave it to Garfield principal Frank Hanawalt "to do that which otherwise would not be timely done." From this gesture evolved the Foundation, which since 1963 has donated more than $11 million to secondary schools, helping more than 14,000 students in 875 schools throughout Washington State each year. For additional information and history, please visit www.haasfoundation.org.