J Pierpont Morgan Sr
- Category : Business-Entrepreneur
- Type : GP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (5,34,57)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Laws 1
American financier who founded J.P. Morgan and Co. in 1895 and accumulated one of America’s largest fortunes. His firm controlled many corporations and he was often accused of being a monopolist. His art collections rivaled any in the world and were valued from $50 million to $100 million. His exercise of power may have contributed to America’s long-standing antipathy to wealth and business. Known for organizing industrial trusts such as U.S. Steel and General Electric, he was the unofficial central banker of the USA before there was a Federal Reserve and single-handedly saved the United States from bankruptcy on two occasions.
Both he and his father, Junius, regarded their profession as a noble calling, their particular mission of life. They watched over American credit abroad, built railroads and industrial corporations that would shape the American future, and acted as the country's unofficial lender of last resort. Both men were dedicated patriots, though many felt that they were primarily robber barons.
Morgan's early life was dominated with seizures and he nearly died from them as an infant. He contracted rheumatic fever, had painful boils on his face and neck and came down with varioloid (a mild form of smallpox). Much of this may have been genetic, as his mother’s family had a history of mental instability, alcoholism and "nerves." His parents spent most of their time away from each other, and the youth had to "look after" his mother. Morgan grew up in Hartford and Boston, and moved to London with the family in 1854 when his father joined an Anglo-American merchant bank. He was educated in Switzerland and at the German university at Goittingen, primarily to learn foreign languages.
He met his first wife, Amelia Sturges, a fragile beauty two years his senior, when he moved to New York in 1857. At 21, he was quite good looking, well traveled and with eclectic interests. They became engaged in 1859 and were married 10/07/1861, despite Amelia’s frail health. By December, her condition (diagnosed as tuberculosis) had worsened, and she died 2/17/1862. After Amelia's death, Morgan began to have mysterious "nervous" ailments, crippling headaches, depressions and exhaustion, afflictions that haunted the rest of his life. He sought cures at American and European spas.
On 5/31/1865, he married Frances Louisa Tracy, the daughter of a New York lawyer; they had three daughters and a son. Their temperament and tastes soon showed a marked difference. Morgan hated to be alone and drew energy from social crowds, motion and travel, as well as the work he loved, where Fanny preferred the suburbs and a quiet family life. The couple spent much time apart, and Morgan had a series of female companions. Divorce was not an option, but a discrete mistress with whom to travel and entertain was appropriate for his time and station.
Between 1890 and 1913, he spent more than half his fortune on art - about sixty million dollars, the equivalent of roughly a billion in 1999. He was president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1904 to 1913. An outstanding philanthropist, he gave millions to cultural institutions, hospitals, medical education, the Episcopal Church, artists, scholars, clergymen, relatives and friends. Despite his love of great art, he was known as a singularly inarticulate and unreflective man. In middle age, he suffered from an inherited skin disease called rhinophyma, which caused a deformity to his nose, called "a hideous deformity."
He died 3/31/1913, 00:30 AM in Rome, Italy.