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J. P. Morgan

John Pierpont Morgan (April 17, 1837 - March 31, 1913), American financier and banker, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, a son of Junius Spencer Morgan (1813-1890), who was a partner of George Peabody and the founder of the house of J. S. Morgan & Co. in London.

He was educated at the English High School in Boston and at the University of Göttingen. In 1857-1860 he worked in the New York City banking house of Duncan, Sherman & Co.; from 1860 to 1864 was agent and attorney in New York for George Peabody & Co. of London, and afterwards for its successor, J. S. Morgan & Co., of which he became head; in 1864-1871 was a member of the firm of Dabney, Morgan & Co.; and in 1871 he entered the firm of Drexel, Morgan & Co., in which he was associated with Anthony J. Drexel, of Philadelphia, upon whose death in 1893 he became senior partner.

In 1895 the firm became J. P. Morgan & Co. Closely associated with Drexel & Co. of Philadelphia, Morgan, Harjes & Co. (successors to Drexel, Harjes & Co.) of Paris, and, Morgan, Grenfell & Co. (before 1910 J. S. Morgan & Co.) of London, it became one of the most powerful banking houses in the world. Its accomplishments were numerous. It financed the formation of the United States Steel Corporation, which took over the business of Andrew Carnegie and others and was the world's first billion-dollar corporation. In 1895 it supplied the United States government with $62 million in gold to float a bond issue and restore the treasury surplus of $100 million. In 1902, it purchased the Leyland line of Atlantic steamships and other British lines, creating an Atlantic shipping combine. And it, or the banking houses which it succeeded, reorganized a large number of railroads between the years of 1869 and 1899.

Morgan was a prominent member of the Protestant Episcopal Church; an enthusiastic yachtsman, whose Columbia defeated the Shamrock in 1899 and 1901 for the America's Cup; a notable collector of books, pictures, and, other art objects, many loaned or given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (of which he was president), and many housed in his London house and in his private library on 36th Street, near Madison Avenue, New York City; and a benefactor of the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard University (especially its medical school), the Lying-in Hospital of the city of New York and the New York trade schools.