Senator Harry Meshel

Framed portrait of Senator Harry Meshel

Harry Meshel, 1924-2017

A Youngstown native, Senator Harry Meshel was born on June 13, 1924 to Evangelos Michelakis and Rubini Markakis Michelakis Meshel. An honor graduate of East High School, he joined the United States Navy's "Seabees" (construction battalion) during World War II, where he earned two Bronze Stars with Battle Stars in the Pacific Theater's Battle of Leyte Gulf. After the war, Senator Meshel graduated from Youngstown College with a Bachelor's Degree and from Columbia University with a Master's Degree in Business Administration. Senator Meshel worked at a variety of jobs: in the Youngstown steel mills, locally in investment and real estate, and taught at Youngstown State University and Ohio State University. He served as the Director of Youngstown's Urban Renewal Department in 1969 and as Ohio State Senator for the 33rd district from 1971 to 1993. He served as President and Majority Leader of the Ohio State Senate from 1983-1984. Senator Meshel was a member of the YSU Board of Trustees from 2007-2016. As a member of the Ohio legislature, Senator Meshel fought tirelessly for the rights of workers, the disabled, minorities, and the dispossessed. With his passing on September 4, 2017, Senator Meshel left behind an unparalleled legacy of what it means to work on behalf of the common good and the betterment of humanity.

Senator Meshel had a long career in public service, helping to improve the lives of of working people, especially those in the Mahoning Valley. He was a great friend to Youngstown State University, supporting funding for numerous projects including Meshel Hall. If it were not for his dogged persistence, this wonderful facility, documenting the Mahoning Valley's history of the iron and steel industry, would not be here.