Colonel Michael Friedsam (1858–1931) was an American businessman and philanthropist. He was also an art connoisseur, and was noted for his civic, social, and educational involvement.
Born in New York City, Friedsam attended Westar Military Academy in Westar, Connecticut. He began to work for the luxury department store chain B. Altman & Co. in New York City and, upon the death of founder Benjamin Altman, became president not only of B. Altman & Co, but also of the Altman Foundation.
During World War I, Friedsam served as Quartermaster General of the New York State Guard, where he gained the title “Colonel.” In 1921, upon the request of President Warren G. Harding, Friedsam spent months in Europe, reporting on the continent’s commercial and economic conditions.
Friedsam also had a very special interest in education and donated much of his time to the task of improving the New York Public Schools. Although Jewish, Friedsam was the benefactor of a new library building to St. Bonaventure University, a Roman Catholic and Franciscan institute in Allegany, New York.