How much was J.P. Morgan worth?

Net Worth:$35 Billion
Profession:Professional Financier
Date of Birth:April 17, 1837
Country:United States of America
1.88 m

Who Is John Pierpont Morgan

John Pierpont Morgan, widely known as J.P. Morgan, was an American banker in the era of robber barons who wielded enormous financial power in the late 19th and early 20th century. Morgan’s wealth and influence became so immense that he interceded to rescue the entire American economy from a potential depression.

American financier and banker John Pierpont Morgan had an inflation-adjusted net worth of $35 billion dollars at the time of his death, in 1913. J.P. Morgan became one of the wealthiest businessmen in the world through his founding of private banks and industrial consolidation in the late 1800s.

By playing a guiding role in the strengthening of the American economy, Morgan ushered in the era of big business. He was involved in some of the largest financial deals of the 19th century, and he amassed a great personal fortune.

He was well educated, and always had a great interest in art and culture. He became one of the greatest collectors of art and rare books and documents. He contributed to the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, helping it became one of the world’s great museums. And his own collection of documents and art reside today in the Morgan Library in New York City.

Early Life

John Pierpont Morgan was born April 17, 1837, in Hartford, Connecticut. His father was a successful banker, and young Morgan’s education including some schooling in Europe. After two years of study in Germany he entered the banking business in 1857, at the age of 20.

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His father arranged a job for him working as a brokering sugar trades in Cuba and Louisiana. After learning business fundamentals, Morgan opened his own office in New York City. He specialized in foreign trade, managing investments in America on behalf of British clients.

In the early years of the Civil War, when notorious characters like Jim Fisk were involved in obtaining government contracts through shady practices, Morgan was tainted by his own connection to a scandal. He had loaned money to a businessman who sold defective rifles to the government. It was never established that Morgan had done anything beyond providing credit to the war profiteer.

Banking Career

During the war Morgan speculated in various commodities, and offered advice about America to his British clients. Following the war he became involved in the federal government’s efforts to refinance its war debt.

In the 1870s, though largely unknown to the general public, Morgan became an influential figure in American banking. When the firm of financier Jay Cooke went bankrupt and sparked the panic of 1873, Morgan’s firm became the largest dealer of government bonds.

Morgan became very involved in the railroad industry, helping to finance the expansion of railroads that changed American life in the late 1800s. His role in some major deals in the 1870s, such as helping William Vanderbilt, the son of the legendary Cornelius Vanderbilt, sell off some of his railroad holdings, buttressed Morgan’s reputation for providing wise and reliable banking advice.

In the 1880s Morgan tried to bring order to the very chaotic railroad business by encouraging competing owners to form voluntary associations. Morgan’s plan was not entirely successful, and following the Panic of 1893 he became involved in organizing some of the railroads into more efficient enterprises.

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Throughout the 1890s Morgan concentrated on organizing other businesses. In 1892 the formation of General Electric was guided by him, and he later was involved in organizing U.S. Steel.

Morgan Rescued the Economy

In the early years of the 20th century Morgan was revered as the epitome of a banker. And when the United States economy faced a potential panic in 1907, Morgan stepped in to shore up the treasury. The crisis indicated the need for a central bank, the role now played by the Federal Reserve.

Morgan spent much of his time in the final years of his life concentrating on his vast art collection. He collected original works by Charles Dickens and other notable writers, and also sought out letters written by Abraham Lincoln. His collection of rare books was one of the greatest in the world.

J.P. Morgan died in Rome, Italy, on March 31, 1913.

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