People & Professions : Philanthropists
J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), American financier and industrial organizer, one of the world's foremost financial figures during the two pre-World War I decades. He reorganized several major railroads and consolidated the United States Steel, International Harvester, and General Electric corporations. During the depression that followed the panic of 1893, Morgan formed a syndicate that resupplied the U.S. government's depleted gold reserve with $62,000,000 in gold in order to relieve a Treasury crisis. Three years later he began financing a series of giant industrial consolidations that were to reshape the corporate structure of the American manufacturing sector. Morgan successfully led the American financial community's attempt to avert a general financial collapse following the stock market panic of 1907. He headed a group of bankers who took in large government deposits and decided how the money was to be used for purposes of financial relief, thereby preserving the solvency of many major banks and corporations. Morgan was one of the greatest art and book collectors of his day, and he donated many works of art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. His book collection and the building that housed them became a public reference library in 1924.