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Dale, Chester (03 May 1883–16 December 1962), investment banker and art collector, was born in New York City, the son of Thomas W. Dale, a department store salesman, and Jane Roberts. Dale attended Peekskill Military Academy, but he left school when he was fourteen and began working as an office boy and runner on Wall Street. By 1904 he was an independent broker, and in 1909 he formed a partnership specializing in railroad mortgages and utility bonds with his friend William C. Langley. In 1911 Dale married Maud Murray a few weeks after she divorced his friend Frederick M. Thompson; they had no children....

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Drexel, Francis Martin (07 April 1792–05 June 1863), investment banker and painter, was born in Dornbirn, Austria, the son of Franz Joseph Drexel, a merchant, and Magdalen Willhelm. Drexel’s father sent him to Milan in 1803 to attend school; he took courses in Italian and in the fine arts and began his career as a painter. As a result of problems in his father’s business and the eruption of the Napoleonic Wars, in 1806 Drexel returned to Dornbirn to assist his father. Drexel, who was not drafted into the Hapsburg army, two years later continued his studies, first in France and then in Switzerland. He also painted portraits, decorated coaches, and drew pictorial signs. After spending time in Dornbirn between 1815 and 1817, the adventurous Drexel, who was disenchanted with the economic and political conditions in Austria, decided to leave Europe. In 1817 he sailed from Amsterdam on the ...

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Edmonds, Francis William (22 November 1806–07 February 1863), banker and artist, was born in Hudson, Columbia County, New York, the son of Samuel Edmonds, a military officer, and Lydia Worth. Edmonds’s education from the age of about six to about fifteen took place in a Quaker school where his artistic abilities gradually won the approval of the schoolmaster. Initially Edmonds had wanted to become an engraver, but his ambition was squelched by the prohibitive apprenticeship fees. His early independent training included creating designs for wood engravers, which infused his artistic vision with a penchant for precision and detail....

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Otto Kahn Photograph by Arnold Genthe Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G401-T-5788-002).

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Kahn, Otto Herman (21 February 1867–29 March 1934), investment banker and patron of the fine arts, was born in Mannheim, Germany, the son of Bernhard Kahn, a banker, and Emma Eberstadt. Reared in a home with a rich cultural atmosphere and with valuable works of art, Otto was privately tutored and displayed a keen interest in music. He became familiar with banking and in 1883 began to work in a small bank in Karlsruhe....

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Powers, Daniel William (14 June 1818–11 December 1897), banker and art collector, was born in Batavia, New York, the son of Asahel Powers and Elizabeth Powell, farmers who were among the first settlers of the Genesee country. When he was three years old his father died and Daniel was raised to be a farmer by an uncle. Rural life did not please the young man and at the age of nineteen he left for Rochester, New York, becoming a salesman in a hardware store. Over the next twelve years he accumulated enough capital to open a banking and brokerage office on 1 March 1850; he would be in that business the rest of his life....

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Stout, Gardner Dominick (21 April 1903–16 January 1984), investment banker, museum president, and naturalist, was born in New York City, the son of Andrew Varick Stout, a stockbroker, and Ethel Dominick. As a small boy, visits to the American Museum of Natural History first aroused Stout’s interest, he said, “in natural history and the world of animate things.” While vacationing with his family at a summer home in Rumson, he wandered along the Jersey shore, exploring the natural world and observing the behaviors of the shorebirds. Stout’s interest in nature was balanced by his commitment to the family business, and he graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1926. Later that year he joined the Wall Street banking firm of Dominick and Dominick, which had been founded in 1870 by his grandfather Bayard Dominick. In 1928 Stout purchased a seat on the New York Stock Exchange for $335,000, which was at the time the highest price ever paid for a seat. That same year he became a general partner in Dominick and Dominick. In 1930 he married Clare Kellogg, who shared his enthusiasm for travel and nature. They had three sons....