Aaron Samuel French (March 23, 1823 – March 24, 1902) was an American industrialist and philanthropist. French left school at an early age, and the first decades of his life were characterized by working a variety of jobs and recovering from prolonged illness. After co-founding a successful vehicular spring company, French gained prominence as a businessman and philanthropist in Pittsburgh during the second half of the 19th century.
Aaron French was born in 1823 in Wadsworth, Ohio to Philo French and Mary (McIntyre) French. He dropped out of school at age 12 to work as a farm laborer, later apprenticing as a blacksmith and working as an agent of the American Fur Company, among other jobs. In 1843, French married Euphrasia Terrill of Liverpool, Ohio, and they had five children, of whom three survived. Euphrasia died in 1870.
In 1844, at age 20, French enrolled at the Archie McGregor Academy in Wadsworth for an additional year of schooling.