Howard Hedinger, Longtime Head of Portland’s American Industries, Dies at 83

Industrialist owned Wildwood restaurant and gave generously to numerous Portland non-profits.

Howard Hedinger, a well-known Portland industrialist and philanthropist died Feb. 15, one day short of his 84th birthday, according to a funeral announcement.

For decades, Hedinger served as president of American Industries, a steel products company he owned in Northwest Portland.

He also invested in real estate and was an owner of Wildwood restaurant on Northwest 21st Avenue. For most of the two decades prior to its closure in 2014, Wildwood was one of the city's top dining spots and its former longtime chef, Corey Schreiber, is a major figure in the transformation of Portland's food scene from sleepy to celebrated.

Hedinger was also known for his philanthropic giving. Through his family foundation, he gave away about $1.5 million a year to a variety of causes. Hedinger was an early and generous supporter of Self Enhancement, Inc. a North Portland non-profit that works with minority youth and gave often to arts and animal-related organizations.

American Industries office was closed for the Presidents' Day holiday, so nobody at Hedinger's company could be reached for comment.