J.P. Morgan Jr. Biography

Business Leader, Philanthropist(1867–1943)
J.P. Morgan Jr. was a finance executive who followed in his father’s footsteps to head the firm J.P. Morgan and Co.

Synopsis

Born on September 7, 1867, in Irvington, New York, John Pierpont Morgan Jr. succeeded his father as the head of the family banking firm. J.P. Morgan Jr. worked in London, England, before assuming the mantle of leadership, and oversaw billions of dollars in transactions in support of Britain and France during World War I. In the 1920s, he donated the Morgan library to public use. He died on March 13, 1943, in Boca Grande, Florida.

Early Life

Born John Pierpont Morgan Jr. was born on September 7, 1867, in Irvington, New York. The son of legendary financier John Pierpont Morgan, John Jr. followed his father's steps. Shortly after graduating from Harvard University in 1889, he went to work in his father's firm, J.P. Morgan & Company, and then moved to London to take a position at his grandfather's company, J.S. Morgan & Company.

Taking Over J.P. Morgan & Co.

After his father died in 1913, J.P. Morgan Jr. inherited nearly $50 million and became the head of J.P. Morgan & Company. One of his biggest deals was helping the company become the only munitions purchaser for British and French governments during World War I. The orders totaled more than $3 billion worth of supplies, and Morgan's company earned a 1 percent commission on the sale of those materials. His work for the war, however, nearly cost him his life. An intruder broke into his home in Glen Cove, Long Island, on July 3, 1915, and shot Morgan twice. The shooter, Frank Holt, wanted Morgan to stop exporting weapons. Fortunately, Morgan recovered from his injuries.

Morgan did a lot of financing deals with foreign governments after the war. He helped several countries, such as Great Britain, France, and Germany, issue bonds. He also served on a committee about German reparations in Paris in 1922 and was a delegate for the United States to a reparations conference in 1929. At home, he tried, but failed, to stop the financial panic that led to the Great Depression that same year.

Personal Life

In addition to his work in banking and finance, J.P. Morgan Jr. supported many organizations during his lifetime, including the Red Cross, the Episcopal Church and the New York Lying-In Hospital. He also provided an endowment to create a museum for the rare book and manuscript collection of the Morgan Library, much of which was donated by his father.

Morgan married Jane Norton Grew in 1890, and they had four children together: Junius Spencer, Jane Norton, Frances Tracy and Henry Sturgis.

Death and Legacy

Morgan died of a stroke on March 13, 1943, at a resort in Boca Grande, Florida. While he was a successful financier on his own terms, Morgan is best remembered as the son of the business giant and the continuation of a banking dynasty.

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