J. P. Morgan bigraphy, stories - American financier

J. P. Morgan : biography

April 17, 1837 - March 31, 1913

John Pierpont "J. P." Morgan (April 17, 1837 – March 31, 1913) was an American financier, banker, philanthropist and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time. In 1892 Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. After financing the creation of the Federal Steel Company, he merged in 1901 with the Carnegie Steel Company and several other steel and iron businesses, including Consolidated Steel and Wire Company owned by William Edenborn, to form the United States Steel Corporation.

Morgan died in Rome, Italy, in his sleep in 1913 at the age of 75, leaving his fortune and business to his son, John Pierpont "Jack" Morgan, Jr., and bequeathing his mansion and large book collections to The Morgan Library & Museum in New York.

At the height of Morgan's career during the early 1900s, he and his partners had financial investments in many large corporations and were accused by critics of controlling the nation's high finance. He directed the banking coalition that stopped the Panic of 1907. He was the leading financier of the Progressive Era, and his dedication to efficiency and modernization helped transform American business.

Unsuccessful ventures

Morgan did not always invest well, as several failures demonstrated.

Tesla and Wardenclyffe

In 1900 Morgan invested $150,000 in inventor Nikola Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower, a high power transatlantic radio transmission project. By 1903 Tesla had spent the initial investment without completing the project, and with Guglielmo Marconi already making regular transatlantic transmissions with far less expensive equipment, Morgan declined to fund Tesla any further. Tesla tried to generate more interest in Wardenclyffe by revealing its ability to transmit wireless electricity, but the loss of Morgan as a backer, and the 1903 "rich man's panic" on Wall Street, dried up any further investment.Margaret Cheney , Tesla: Man Out of Time, 2011 - pages 203 - 208Nikola Tesla, David Hatcher Childress, The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla, 1993 - page 254Michael Burgan, Nikola Tesla: Physicist, Inventor, Electrical Engineer, 2009. page 75

London Subways

Morgan suffered a rare business defeat in 1902 when he attempted to enter the London Underground field. Transit magnate Charles Tyson Yerkes thwarted Morgan's effort to obtain parliamentary authority to build an underground road that would have competed with "Tube" lines controlled by Yerkes. Morgan called Yerkes' coup "the greatest rascality and conspiracy I ever heard of".John Franch, Robber Baron: The Life of Charles Tyson Yerkes (2006) p. 298

International Mercantile Marine

In 1902, J.P. Morgan & Co. financed the formation of International Mercantile Marine Company, an Atlantic shipping combine which absorbed several major American and British lines. IMM was a holding company that controlled subsidiary corporations that had their own operating subsidiaries. Morgan hoped to dominate transatlantic shipping through interlocking directorates and contractual arrangements with the railroads, but that proved impossible because of the unscheduled nature of sea transport, American antitrust legislation, and an agreement with the British government. One of IMM's subsidiaries was the White Star Line, which owned the RMS Titanic. The ship's famous sinking in 1912, the year before Morgan's death, was a financial disaster for IMM, which was forced to apply for bankruptcy protection in 1915. Analysis of financial records shows that IMM was overleveraged and suffered from inadequate cash flow that caused it to default on bond interest payments. Saved by World War I, IMM eventually reemerged as the United States Lines, which itself went bankrupt in 1986.


Collector of art, books, and gemstones

Morgan was a notable collector of books, pictures, paintings, clocks and other art objects, many loaned or given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (of which he was president and was a major force in its establishment), and many housed in his London house and in his private library on 36th Street, near Madison Avenue in New York City. His son, J. P. Morgan, Jr., made the Pierpont Morgan Library a public institution in 1924 as a memorial to his father and kept Belle da Costa Greene, his father's private librarian, as its first director.Auchincloss (1990). Morgan was painted by many artists including the Peruvian Carlos Baca-Flor and the Swiss-born American Adolfo Müller-Ury, who also painted a double portrait of Morgan with his favorite grandchild Mabel Satterlee that for some years stood on an easel in the Satterlee mansion but has now disappeared.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine