After a more than 15-year hiatus from official competition, Alex Steinbergh ’62 captured a World Silver Medal.
That took place in the 1990s in Bulgaria, when he took the mat at the Veteran World Championships, earning second place.
“I was always interested in wrestling, and I didn’t want to stop,” he said. “Once you do, it’s really hard to come back.”
Steinbergh’s passion for wrestling is obvious. While he no longer competes, he remains extremely involved, especially with Cornell, Harvard (where he got his MBA), and his high school alma mater, Wyoming Seminary. He was a National Wrestling Hall of Fame Honoree for Lifetime Service to Wrestling (Massachusetts).
A photo of Steinbergh in his first ever high school bout, a win, sits on the wall at his home. His second match, however, is another he won’t forget.
“I had the interesting luck of having to wrestle [eventual 2x NCAA Champion and Olympian] Dave Auble in my second ever high school match,” he said. “It didn’t go too well. I don’t think I got out of the first period.”
The two became teammates just a few years later when Steinbergh entered Cornell. [Auble ’60 was a junior at the time]. The two didn’t often practice together, but Steinbergh did have a standout partner.
“Steve Friedman ’59 was a little bit of my mentor at Cornell,” Steinbergh said. “He was a senior when I was a freshman and I was his workout partner. I think he needed someone to pick on and we were the same weight (157),” he said. “If I got a takedown on him, he took me out for dinner. It might have happened twice all year. He was incredibly talented.”
The two have quite a bit in common. Both have been extremely generous financially, with their time, and with career support. And both continued to wrestle after graduating from Cornell.
Steinbergh went directly to Harvard Business School after getting his economics degree in Ithaca and then earned a Master’s Degree in Economics from Western Reserve (now Case Western).
In addition to his studies, he racked up victories on the mat in freestyle.
“While I was at HBS [Harvard Business School], I practiced with the Harvard team,” he said. “Then, in my first job in Cleveland at Republic Steel, I kept wrestling.”
He captured New England AAU, Eastern AAU and Lake Erie AAU championships and took the 1965 Rappaport Trophy as New England’s Outstanding Wrestler. He also prevailed at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Many of his wins were by fall.
“I really improved and got a lot of pins after college,” he said. “A lot were using the Chancery as a go-to hold. It was something I learned from one of my Cornell coaches, Bill Layton. I realized it wasn’t as important how many different holds you knew, as long as you could execute a few really well. I honestly wasn’t a really good wrestler at Cornell. I wasn’t strong yet; my body developed later. But I had a lot of fun wrestling.”
Steinbergh said that he gained quite a bit of strength after college, but when the team needed him, he came through, even against bigger opponents.
“I think the most impressive thing about my Cornell wrestling career was that I wrestled at every weight from 147 to unlimited. I was a utility guy - wherever someone was needed, I stepped in. We lost our heavyweight my senior year, so I had to wrestle three bouts there. I was probably 180 pounds, but actually I won two of those three,” he said with a laugh.
After Republic Steel, Steinbergh worked at Carling Brewing as the Director of Operations Research and at McKinsey and Company as a management consultant.
“After I left McKinsey, I came up to Boston with my wife and started a company in the early 1970s - Resource Planning Associates, dealing with energy and the environment. In a way, I guess we were a little ahead of our time.”
In 1982, he co-founded a real estate company, Resource Capital Group (RCG), LLC, which has now been in business for more than 40 years. He said he does “everything under the sun - acquisitions, sales, development of properties, and more” and also has been involved in several solar companies over the past 15 years, with a significant interest in climate change.
Steinbergh is one of the Principals of RCG. In fact, of the seven Principals, four are ex-wrestlers.
“Wrestlers work hard and are used to an individual sport where you have to do things on your own,” he said. “There’s a lot of adversity in wrestling, a lot of injuries, lots of times you can quit. The ones who don’t are the types of people you want to work with.”
Cornell wrestling has a presence at RCG. Nathan Thacker, who graduated in 2023, just began his career, while senior Benny Baker spent this past summer doing an internship there. Two-time All-American Steve Anceravage ’09, heads up the company’s Wilmington, North Carolina office.
Steinbergh takes a lot of pride in the success of Big Red wrestling.
“Cornell wrestling has a national orientation,” he said. “Over the past 15 years, Cornell scored the most points in the NCAA other than Penn State and Iowa. That says it all. The team is consistently toward the top at the NCAAs and of course is a great place to get an education. The alumni network is great and the future of the program is bright.”
Thank you, Alex Steinbergh.