Meeting Zeckendorf through mutual friends, he was soon recruited to Webb & Knapp, where he found viable projects for development and made invaluable contacts.
After leaving in the late 1950s, he helped organize the Bangor Punta Corp., a Connecticut-based conglomerate he forged from an expropriated Cuban sugar refinery and a defunct potato railroad in Maine. At Bangor Punta, he oversaw in rapid succession the purchase of Piper Aircraft, Cal Sailboats and other varied companies. This was his chief skill -- strategic assembly -- not running daily operations, his son said. Mr. Salgo was bought out in 1974 amid internal dissent.
He funded an exchange program between American and Eastern European students and also became a collector of Hungarian art, including paintings, silver and saddle rugs. He formed a trust to showcase his collection, which has appeared at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other galleries.
With architect I.M. Pei, a former colleague at Webb & Knapp, he traveled extensively.
Sometimes their timing was terrible, Pei said. During a visit to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia in 1970, the government was overthrown. They could not leave the country by air, so they hired a driver at great expense to take them to the Thai border.
After the dusty journey, they waited for hours to cross to safety. Pei arranged for another ride to Bangkok so that they would not have to take a freight train. Through it all, Mr. Salgo was calm.
"He was an adventurer," Pei said. "He enjoyed these things."
His marriage to Marta Noren "Marika" Salgo ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of 34 years, Josseline de Ferron Salgo of New York; two children from his first marriage, Miklos Salgo of Kinnelon, N.J., and Christina Salgo of Rockport, Mass.; and three grandchildren
By Adam Bernstein Washington Post Staff Writer March 1, 2005