About us The founders

Robert Samuel was born in Düsseldorf in 1871 as the son of a merchant family that had moved from Heidelberg to Düsseldorf in the mid-19th century and enjoyed success in the tobacco trading business. He followed in his father's footsteps and in 1900 moved his uncle's tobacco shop into the building on Königsallee 14 / Blumenstraße 3, which at the time belonged to the city of Düsseldorf. He later acquired the property and in 1911 had the office and commercial building named Hohenzollernhaus built on it.

Hedwig and Robert Samuel

The foundation's basis: Successful tobacco trade

In the meantime, his business grew into a renowned Havana tobacco import and sales company. He supplied the Württemberg royal court, among others. In 1920, he married Hedwig Göldner, who until then had been his secretary. In 1926, he retired and went on a world tour with his wife. As early as 1927, he decreed in his will that the Hedwig and Robert Samuel Foundation be established with the Hohenzollernhaus as the foundation’s capital. Robert Samuel died of a heart attack in Düsseldorf in 1931.