Harold Hochschild dedicated 44 years of distinguished service to American Metal Climax, Inc. (AMAX), where his skilled leadership played a major role in the diversification and growth of AMAX and the mining industry worldwide.
Upon graduating from Yale in 1913, Hochschild joined American Metal Company Ltd. (Amco). In 1916, he became a Director of Amco, and moved steadily up the corporate ladder. By 1934 he was President, serving in this capacity until 1950. He was Chairman of the Board from 1947 until his retirement 10 years later. Under his leadership, Amco became a leader in custom smelting and refining in the United States.
Early in his career, Amco provided financial backing to Climax Molybdenum Co. and, with the onset of World War I, the demand for molybdenum soared, with Climax being the largest single source of the strategic material. In 1930, negotiations with Selection Trust, holder of world-wide mining interests, resulted in Amco gaining a major interest in the African copper properties of Roan Antelope and Mufulira—two of the world’s largest copper mines. As a result, the outbreak of World War II in 1939 found Amco with large reserves of copper, another strategic metal. Hochschild made frequent trips to the African mines and, soon after the war ended, he had the company further expand its African interests with a base metals mine.
Under his skillful guidance, Amco flourished in the postwar years with expansion into the petroleum business and the opening of a potash mine in New Mexico. Canadian investments were also expanded with the development of base metal/silver mines in New Brunswick.
In 1957, Climax produced its one hundred millionth ton of molybdenum and, as if to celebrate this milestone, Amco and Climax merged to form American Metal Climax, Inc., known worldwide as AMAX. Following the merger, Hochschild remained active as a Director and Honorary Chairman.
Harold Hochschild was active in numerous organizations, including the Adirondack Historical Association, and the New York State Historical Association. He authored Township 34, an exceptional history of the central Adirondacks.