Bernard Baruch

Bernard Baruch

Overview
Bernard Mannes Baruch was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 financier
Financier
Financier is a term for a person who handles typically large sums of money, usually involving money lending, financing projects, large-scale investing, or large-scale money management. The term is French, and derives from finance or payment...

, stock-market
Stock market
A stock market or equity market is a public entity for the trading of company stock and derivatives at an agreed price; these are securities listed on a stock exchange as well as those only traded privately.The size of the world stock market was estimated at about $36.6 trillion...

 speculator
Speculation
In finance, speculation is a financial action that does not promise safety of the initial investment along with the return on the principal sum...

, statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

, and political consultant
Political consulting
Political consulting, beyond the self-evident definition of consulting in political matters, refers to a specific management consulting industry which has grown up around advising and assisting political campaigns. This article deals primarily with the development and nature of political consulting...

. After his success in business
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

, he devoted his time toward advising U.S. Presidents
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 and Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 on economic matters
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 and became a philanthropist
Philanthropist
A philanthropist is someone who engages in philanthropy; that is, someone who donates his or her time, money, and/or reputation to charitable causes...

.

Bernard Baruch was born in Camden, South Carolina
Camden, South Carolina
Camden is the fourth oldest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina and is also the county seat of Kershaw County, South Carolina, United States. The population was an estimated 7,103 in 2009...

 to Simon and Belle Baruch. He was the second of four sons. His father Simon Baruch (1840–1921) was a German immigrant
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 of Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity who came with his family to the United States in 1855.
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Quotations

America has never forgotten — and never will forget — the nobler things that brought her into being and that light her path — the path that was entered upon only one hundred and fifty years ago ... How young she is! It will be centuries before she will adopt that maturity of custom — the clothing of the grave — that some people believe she is already fitted for.

Address on accepting The Churchman Award, New York (23 May 1944)

Behind the black portent of the new atomic age lies a hope which, seized upon with faith, can work out salvation ... Let us not deceive ourselves: we must elect world peace or world destruction.

Address to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (14 June 1946)

Although the shooting war is over, we are in the midst of a cold war which is getting warmer.

Speech before the Senate’s Special Committee Investigating the National Defense Program (1948)

There are no such things as incurable, there are only things for which man has not found a cure.

Speech (30 April 1954)

To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am.

On his 85th birthday, as quoted in The Observer [London] (21 August 1955)

I am quite sure that in the hereafter she will take me by the hand and lead me to my proper seat.

Regarding a childhood teacher, as quoted in News summaries (29 August 1955)

I am interested in physical medicine because my father was. I am interested in medical research because I believe in it. I am interested in arthritis because I have it.

As quoted in The New York Post (1 May 1959)
Encyclopedia
Bernard Mannes Baruch was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 financier
Financier
Financier is a term for a person who handles typically large sums of money, usually involving money lending, financing projects, large-scale investing, or large-scale money management. The term is French, and derives from finance or payment...

, stock-market
Stock market
A stock market or equity market is a public entity for the trading of company stock and derivatives at an agreed price; these are securities listed on a stock exchange as well as those only traded privately.The size of the world stock market was estimated at about $36.6 trillion...

 speculator
Speculation
In finance, speculation is a financial action that does not promise safety of the initial investment along with the return on the principal sum...

, statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

, and political consultant
Political consulting
Political consulting, beyond the self-evident definition of consulting in political matters, refers to a specific management consulting industry which has grown up around advising and assisting political campaigns. This article deals primarily with the development and nature of political consulting...

. After his success in business
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

, he devoted his time toward advising U.S. Presidents
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 and Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 on economic matters
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 and became a philanthropist
Philanthropist
A philanthropist is someone who engages in philanthropy; that is, someone who donates his or her time, money, and/or reputation to charitable causes...

.

Early life and education


Bernard Baruch was born in Camden, South Carolina
Camden, South Carolina
Camden is the fourth oldest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina and is also the county seat of Kershaw County, South Carolina, United States. The population was an estimated 7,103 in 2009...

 to Simon and Belle Baruch. He was the second of four sons. His father Simon Baruch (1840–1921) was a German immigrant
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 of Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity who came with his family to the United States in 1855. He studied medicine, became a doctor, and served as a surgeon on the staff of Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 general
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

 during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. He was a pioneer in physical therapy. His mother's Sephardic Jewish ancestors (likely from Amsterdam or London) came to New York as early as the 1690s, where they became part of the shipping business.

In 1881 the family moved from Camden to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, where Bernard and his brothers attended local schools. He studied at and graduated from the City College of New York
City College of New York
The City College of the City University of New York is a senior college of the City University of New York , in New York City. It is also the oldest of the City University's twenty-three institutions of higher learning...

.

Career


Baruch became a broker and then a partner in A.A. Housman & Company. With his earnings and commissions, he bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at 13.39 trillion as of Dec 2010...

 for $18,000 ($434,000 in today's dollars). There he amassed a fortune before the age of 30 via speculation in the sugar market. By 1903 Baruch had his own brokerage firm and gained the reputation of "The Lone Wolf of Wall Street" because of his refusal to join any financial house. By 1910, he had become one of Wall Street's best-known financiers.

In 1925 he endowed the United Daughters of the Confederacy
United Daughters of the Confederacy
The United Daughters of the Confederacy is a women's heritage association dedicated to honoring the memory of those who served in the military and died in service to the Confederate States of America . UDC began as the National Association of the Daughters of the Confederacy, organized in 1894 by...

 (UDC) Mrs. Simon Baruch University Award in memory of his mother, to support scholars who have written unpublished monographs for full-length books on Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 history. His mother had been an early member of the organization and supported their activities.

Presidential adviser: First World War


In 1916, Baruch left Wall Street to advise president Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 on national defense. He served on the Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense and, in 1918, became the chairman of the new War Industries Board
War Industries Board
The War Industries Board was a United States government agency established on July 28, 1917, during World War I, to coordinate the purchase of war supplies. The organization encouraged companies to use mass-production techniques to increase efficiency and urged them to eliminate waste by...

. With his leadership, this body successfully managed the US's economic mobilization during World War I. In 1919, Wilson asked Baruch to serve as a staff member at the Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

. Baruch did not approve of the reparations France and Britain demanded of Germany, and supported Wilson's view that there needed to be new forms of cooperation between nations, and supporting the creation of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

.

In the 1920s and 30s, Baruch expressed his concern that the United States needed to be prepared for the possibility of another world war. He wanted a more powerful version of the War Industries Board
War Industries Board
The War Industries Board was a United States government agency established on July 28, 1917, during World War I, to coordinate the purchase of war supplies. The organization encouraged companies to use mass-production techniques to increase efficiency and urged them to eliminate waste by...

, which he saw as the only way to ensure maximum coordination between civilian business and military needs. Baruch remained a prominent government adviser during this time, and supported Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

's domestic and foreign policy initiatives after his election.

During President Roosevelt's "New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

" program, Baruch was a member of the "Brain Trust
Brain Trust
Brain trust began as a term for a group of close advisors to a political candidate or incumbent, prized for their expertise in particular fields. The term is most associated with the group of advisors to Franklin Roosevelt during his presidential administration...

" and helped form the National Recovery Administration
National Recovery Administration
The National Recovery Administration was the primary New Deal agency established by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. The goal was to eliminate "cut-throat competition" by bringing industry, labor and government together to create codes of "fair practices" and set prices...

 (NRA).

Presidential adviser: Second World War


When the United States entered World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, President Roosevelt appointed Baruch a special adviser to the director of the Office of War Mobilization. He supported what was known as a "work or fight" bill. Baruch advocated the creation of a permanent superagency similar to his old Industries Board. His theory enhanced the role of civilian businessmen and industrialists in determining what was needed and who would produce it. Baruch's ideas were largely adopted, with James Byrnes
James F. Byrnes
James Francis Byrnes was an American statesman from the state of South Carolina. During his career, Byrnes served as a member of the House of Representatives , as a Senator , as Justice of the Supreme Court , as Secretary of State , and as the 104th Governor of South Carolina...

 appointed to carry them out. During the war
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Baruch remained a trusted adviser and confidant of President Roosevelt, who in 1944 spent a month as a guest at Baruch's South Carolina estate
Hobcaw Barony
Hobcaw Barony, also known as Bellefield Plantation is a tract on a peninsula called Waccamaw Neck between the Winyah Bay and the Atlantic Ocean in Georgetown County, South Carolina. Much of Hobcaw Barony is south of US Highway 17. The land was purchased by the investor, philanthropist,...

.

In 1946 President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 appointed Baruch as the United States representative to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission
United Nations Atomic Energy Commission
The United Nations Atomic Energy Commission was founded on 24 January 1946 by Resolution 1 of the United Nations General Assembly "to deal with the problems raised by the discovery of atomic energy."...

 (UNAEC). On Friday, June 14, 1946, Baruch presented his Baruch Plan
Baruch Plan
The Baruch Plan was a proposal by the United States government, written largely by Bernard Baruch but based on the Acheson–Lilienthal Report, to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission in its first meeting in June 1946...

, a modified version of the Acheson–Lilienthal plan, to the UNAEC, which proposed international control of then-new atomic energy. The Soviet Union rejected Baruch's proposal as unfair given the fact that the U.S. already had nuclear weapons; it proposed that the U.S. eliminate its nuclear weapons before a system of controls and inspections was implemented. A stalemate ensued.

Baruch resigned from the commission in 1947. His influence began to diminish, as he grew further out of step with the views of the Truman administration.

Park bench statesman


Baruch was well-known, and often walked or sat in Washington, D.C's Lafayette Park
Lafayette Park
Lafayette Park may refer to a location in the United States:*Lafayette Park, Detroit, Michigan, a park, development, and neighborhood*Lafayette Park Historic District, a historic district in Albany, New York...

 and in New York City's Central Park
Central Park
Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan...

. It was not uncommon for him to discuss government affairs with other people while sitting on a park bench: he became known for this.

In 1960, on his ninetieth birthday, a commemorative park bench in Lafayette Park across from the White House was dedicated to him by the Boy Scouts
National Capital Area Council
The National Capital Area Council is part of the Boy Scouts of America and serves Scouts in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia...

.

He continued to advise on international affairs until his death on June 20, 1965, in New York City, at the age of ninety-four. His grave is at Flushing Cemetery
Flushing Cemetery
Flushing Cemetery is a cemetery in Flushing in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York.The cemetery is the final resting place for:*Louis Armstrong, renowned musician and singer*Bernard Baruch, financier, after whom Baruch College is named...

, Flushing, Queens
Flushing, Queens
Flushing, founded in 1645, is a neighborhood in the north central part of the City of New York borough of Queens, east of Manhattan.Flushing was one of the first Dutch settlements on Long Island. Today, it is one of the largest and most diverse neighborhoods in New York City...

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, USA.

Favorite book


A favorite book of Bernard Baruch was Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is a history of popular folly by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. The book chronicles its subjects in three parts: "National Delusions", "Peculiar Follies", and "Philosophical Delusions"...

, by Charles Mackay
Charles Mackay
Charles Mackay was a Scottish poet, journalist, and song writer.-Life:Charles Mackay was born in Perth, Scotland. His father was by turns a naval officer and a foot soldier; his mother died shortly after his birth. Charles was educated at the Caledonian Asylum, London, and at Brussels, but spent...

, first published in 1841. It was also a favorite book of his best friend, Jesse Lauriston Livermore
Jesse Lauriston Livermore
Jesse Lauriston Livermore , also known as the Boy Plunger and "Great Bear of Wall Street", was an early 20th century stock trader...

, also known as the Boy Plunger.

Thoroughbred racing


Bernard Baruch owned a string of Thoroughbred
Thoroughbred
The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed...

 racehorses
Horse racing
Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has a long history. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC...

 and raced under the name, Kershaw Stable. In 1927 his horse, Happy Argo, won the Carter Handicap
Carter Handicap
The Carter Handicap is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually in early April at Aqueduct Racetrack. Open to horses three-years-old and up, it is raced over a distance of seven furlongs....

.

Legacy and honors

  • Baruch College of City University of New York was named for him.
  • The Saratoga Race Course
    Saratoga Race Course
    Saratoga Race Course is a Thoroughbred horse racing track in Saratoga Springs, New York, United States. It opened on August 3, 1863, and is the oldest organized sporting venue of any kind in the United States. It is typically open for racing from late July through early September.-History:John...

     named the Bernard Baruch Handicap
    Bernard Baruch Handicap
    The Bernard Baruch Handicap is an American Thoroughbred horse race held annually in early to mid August at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. The race is for three year olds and up willing to race one and one-eighth miles on the turf and carries a purse of $200,000...

     in his honor.

Primary sources

  • Bernard M. Baruch Baruch: My Own Story (1957) two volumes. ISBN 1-56849-095-X
  • Bernard M. Baruch; The Making of the Reparation and Economic Sections of the Treaty 1920.
  • Bernard M. Baruch; American Industry in War: A Report of the War Industries Board (March 1921) ed by Richard H. Hippelheuser; 1941.

External links