Solomons Family Fund

The Solomons Family Fund was established in 2005 to honor Philip and Shirley Solomons.

Philip Solomons, Sr. was born in Savannah on September 25, 1919, the son of Isaiah Abraham Solomons, Jr. and Lena Schulhafer Solomons. He loved the outdoors and was an active Boy Scout, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout and the Order of the Arrow. As an adult he served as a volunteer leader, eventually receiving the Silver Beaver Award for his years of involvement and support. After graduating from Savannah’s public schools, he attended Armstrong College for a year before transferring to Georgia Tech, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management. He was always deeply appreciative of the foundation provided by that year at Armstrong and, with his wife Shirley, later endowed The Philip and Shirley Solomons Eminent Scholar Chair in the Department of Economics. In 2009, Armstrong recognized his life of service to the school and his community by bestowing an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree.

Upon graduation from college, he served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and again in the Korean War, attaining the rank of Captain before returning to Savannah to begin his career at Solomons Company, the family pharmaceutical distribution business, which was founded as a small apothecary shop in 1845. During his 47 years with the company, he became its President and CEO, leading it through significant growth, including successful acquisitions of the other two local wholesale firms and becoming one of the foremost companies in the region, serving pharmacies and hospitals in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, and holding positions on the national board of the industry’s trade association.

While at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, he met, and soon after graduation, married Shirley Massell, the daughter of Samuel and Florence Rubin Massell. She was born November 19, 1923. They had three sons, Philip, Jr., Ralph, and Richard.

The Solomons were actively involved in civic and community life. They were lifelong members and supporters of Congregation Mickve Israel. Philip, Sr. served 57 years in the Rotary Club of Savannah and as president of the Savannah Benevolent Association. They gave of their time and talents and were generous supporters of many of the area’s causes, institutions, and organizations.

Shirley Solomons died August 24, 1995, age 71. Philip Solomons, Sr., died on November 26, 2011, age 92, and they are buried in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.

In 2005, the Solomons Family Fund was established at the Georgia Historical Society by their three sons and daughter-in-laws, and five grandchildren, to honor the lives of Philip and Shirley Solomons, ensuring in perpetuity that their shared commitment to Savannah and to Georgia history will continue.