Concept

Eugene Meyer (financier)

Summary
Eugene Isaac Meyer (October 31, 1875 – July 17, 1959) was an American financier and newspaper publisher. Through his public career, he served as the 5th chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1930 to 1933 and was the first president of the World Bank Group from June to December 1946. Meyer published The Washington Post from 1933 to 1946, and the paper stayed in his family throughout the rest of the 20th century. His daughter, Katharine "Kay" Graham, took the Post over in 1963 and remained its titular head until her death in 2001. Meyer was born to a Jewish family in Los Angeles, California, descended from a long line of rabbis and civic leaders. He was one of eight children of Harriet (née Newmark) and Marc Eugene Meyer. His mother was the daughter of Joseph Newmark. He grew up in San Francisco and attended college across the bay at the University of California, Berkeley, but he dropped out after one year and later enrolled at Yale University. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1895. After college, Meyer went to work for Lazard Frères, where his father was a partner, but quit in 1901 after four years and went out on his own. He was a successful investor and speculator, and owned a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. He married Agnes Elizabeth Ernst, a Lutheran, in 1910; they had five children, including the future Katharine Graham, and another daughter, Florence Meyer (Mrs. Oskar Homolka). By 1915, when he was forty, he was worth $40 million. In 1920, Meyer teamed with William H. Nichols of General Chemical to help fulfill his vision of a bigger, better chemical company. Meyer and Nichols combined five smaller chemical companies to create the Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation, which later became Allied Chemical Corp., which in turn became part of AlliedSignal, the forerunner of Honeywell’s specialty materials business. Both men have buildings named after them at Honeywell’s Morris Plains, New Jersey, headquarters. Meyer went to Washington, D.C.
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