George Peabody, 1795 - 1869
Born: 18 February 1795, Danvers, Massachusetts (renamed Peabody in 1868)
Died: 4 November 1869, London, England, UK
Born into an old New England family, Peabody was a volunteer in the War of 1812 when he met Elisha Riggs who provided the funds to create a dry goods firm, Peabody, Riggs, and Company in 1814. In 1827 he made his first trip to England, both to buy goods and to sell American cotton. In 1835 he founded a London banking firm, George Peabody and Company, largely to handle the securities issued by the fast-growing American railroads. Three years later he joined forces with Junius Spencer Morgan (J. P. Morgan's father) in Peabody, Morgan, and Co. (Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, and England's Morgan Grenfell all trace to Peabody's firm.) He was an influential figure at London, he was temporarily interred at Westminster Abbey, and when his remains were returned to his home town (now renamed Peabody in his honor), Prime Minister Gladstone dispatched HMS Monarch, the newest and largest ship in the British fleet, to carry them. His wealth in 1996 dollars is estimated at $23.7 billion, he is often regarded as the father of modern philanthropy. Sadly, we have only one quote from him.
George Peabody quotes:
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