Cornell C. Maier

Oakland advocate, philanthropist

Head shot of Cornell C. Maier, smiling, in a suit and tie.

Cornell C. Maier, a socially conscious corporate leader revered for his years of generosity to and advocacy for various Oakland, California, causes, passed away on August 13 at age 96.

Maier earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Berkeley in 1949 and went on to serve as chairman and CEO of Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation and its successor company, KaiserTech, finally retiring after more than 38 years of service.

Upon retirement, philanthropy came to define Maier, who supported a long and diverse list of organizations, especially in the areas of education and medical care.

A generous donor to Haas and Berkeley, Maier also gave generously of his time, including serving as a member of the Haas School Board.

He was offered a seat on the board of directors at Oakland’s Children’s Hospital, but he chose instead to hold and comfort medically fragile babies in its neonatal unit twice weekly for some 25 years.