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Aldrich, Winthrop (02 November 1885–25 February 1974), lawyer, banker, and legal and political adviser, was born Winthrop Williams Aldrich in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich, a U.S. senator, and Abby Chapman. Aldrich graduated from Harvard College in 1907 and Harvard Law School in 1910. Upon graduation from law school Aldrich joined the New York City law firm of Byrne, Cutcheon & Taylor, specializing in finance and commercial law. In 1916 Aldrich was named a junior partner in the firm, and in December of that year he married Harriet Alexander, the granddaughter of California railroad and banking magnate ...

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Bloomingdale, Alfred Schiffer (15 April 1916–20 August 1982), cofounder of Diners Club and adviser to President Ronald Reagan, cofounder of Diners Club and adviser to President Ronald Reagan, was born in New York City, the son of Hiram Bloomingdale and Rosalind Schiffer. Alfred Bloomingdale attended Brown University, where he played varsity football, graduating in 1938 after spending a year in a hospital recovering from a football-related back injury. He began his business career working as a salesman at Bloomingdale Brothers, the firm founded by his grandfather Lyman and great-uncle Joseph in 1872. In 1941 he switched careers and became a theatrical agent, producer, and financial backer of Broadway shows and Hollywood movies. Among his clients were ...

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Marcus Alonzo Hanna. Photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103995 ).

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Hanna, Marcus Alonzo (24 September 1837–15 February 1904), businessman, presidential campaign manager, and U.S. senator, known as Mark Hanna, was born above his family’s grocery store in New Lisbon, Ohio, the son of Samantha Converse, a schoolteacher, and Leonard Hanna, who practiced medicine before joining his father and brothers in the grocery business. A proposed canal to link New Lisbon to the Ohio River failed, wiping out Hanna’s grandfather’s investment and pushing the town into commercial decline. Hanna’s father established a new wholesale grocery and shipping business in Cleveland, where he moved his family in 1852. Mark Hanna attended public schools and Western Reserve College, leaving college after getting caught in a student prank. As a traveling salesman for the family business, the gregarious Hanna proved a resourceful competitor. Elected second lieutenant in a Cleveland-based infantry in 1861, he instead became managing partner of the business following his father’s illness and December 1862 death. Called to defend Washington, D.C., during the summer of 1864, he served briefly in uniform but saw no combat....

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Harlow, Bryce (11 August 1916–17 February 1987), public relations official and presidential adviser, was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the son of Victor Harlow, head of Harlow Publishing Company, and Gertrude Gindling. He held part-time jobs as a youth in Oklahoma City, beginning at age eleven as an airplane mechanic at a local airport. He attended public schools and received his B.A. and M.A. in political science from the University of Oklahoma in 1936 and 1942, respectively....

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Hauge, Gabriel Sylfest (07 March 1914–24 July 1981), economist, White House aide, and banker, was born in Hawley, Minnesota, the son of Soren Gabrielson Hauge, a Lutheran minister, and Anna B. Thompson. Hauge lived in the small town of Hawley until he enrolled in Concordia College at Moorhead, Minnesota, in 1931. Active in clubs as well as the student newspaper and radio station, he was elected class president each of his first three years. As a senior, he was student body president and class valedictorian....

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Heller, Walter Wolfgang (27 August 1915–15 June 1987), chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Ernst Heller, a civil engineer, and Gertrude Warmburg. Both parents were German immigrants. In 1935 Heller received an A.B. from Oberlin College, where he earned election to Phi Beta Kappa. He did his graduate work in economics at the University of Wisconsin and received his M.A. in 1938 and a Ph.D. in 1941, specializing in finance and taxation. At the time, Heller received a Social Science Research Council grant to study income tax laws in thirty-one states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Heller married Emily Karen Johnson, also a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, in 1938. They had three children....

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Nutter, Gilbert Warren (10 March 1923–15 January 1979), economist and political adviser, was born in Topeka, Kansas, the son of Coleman Evan Nutter, an electrical engineer, and Helen Rose Gilberg. Nutter was educated at the University of Chicago, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1944. He received his B.A. in 1944, having already been inducted into the U.S. Army. Following his discharge from military service, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, he spent the 1946–1947 academic year teaching at Lawrence College. He then returned to the University of Chicago, where he obtained an M.A. in 1948 and a Ph.D. in economics in 1949. In 1946 he married Jane Calvert Couch; they had four children....

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Okun, Arthur Melvin (28 November 1928–23 March 1980), academic economist, policymaker, and presidential adviser, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, the son of Louis Okun, a candy and tobacco wholesaler, and Rose Cantor. He attended Passaic (N.J.) High School and was an undergraduate at Columbia College in New York City, graduating in 1949 with a B.A. in economics. Seven years later he completed his Ph.D. at Columbia. Okun married Suzanne Grossman in 1951; they had three sons....

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Elmo Roper. Courtesy of the Nebraska State Historical Society.

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Roper, Elmo (31 July 1900–30 April 1971), market researcher and public opinion analyst, was born Elmo Burns Roper, Jr., in Hebron, Nebraska, the son of Elmo Burns Roper, a banker, and Coco Malowney. He attended the University of Minnesota (1919–1920) and the University of Edinburgh (1920–1921), but he did not receive a degree. In 1922 he married Dorothy Shaw; they had two children....

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Stein, Herbert (27 August 1916–08 September 1999), economist and policy advisor, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of David Stein, a Russian immigrant who was a mechanic at Ford Motor Company, and Jessie Segal Stein. When the Great Depression came, Stein's father spent some time working at General Electric in Schenectady, New York, and then was unemployed for a large part of the downturn. Stein graduated from high school at age fifteen and entered Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in the same year. He was a distinguished student and won the prestigious Wells Prize before he was twenty for scholarly work on Allied finances in World War I. As a scholarship student at Williams, Stein worked his way through, partly by washing dishes in the Sigma Phi fraternity house. Sigma Phi did not admit Jews as members; it was characteristic of Stein that he showed no resentment over this situation....

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Valenti, Jack (05 September 1921–26 April 2007), advertising executive, presidential adviser, motion picture industry executive and lobbyist, was born Jack Joseph Valenti in Houston and grew up in southeastern Texas. Both his parents, Joe and Josephine Valenti, were the children of Sicilian immigrants. He graduated from Sam Houston High School in Houston at age fifteen and attended night school at the University of Houston. During World War II, he flew more than fifty bombing missions over enemy territory in Germany and Italy. After the war, he continued his education, graduating from the University of Houston in 1946. He used the GI Bill to earn an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1948 and then joined Humble Oil and Refining Company to work in advertising and promotion....

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Wallace, Hugh Campbell (10 February 1863–01 January 1931), financier, politician, and diplomat, was born in Lexington, Missouri, the son of Thomas Bates Wallace, a wholesale merchant, and Lucy Briscoe. Wallace attended public and private schools in Lexington. His entrepreneurial spirit was evident in childhood, as he worked many jobs and organized numerous business enterprises. In 1885 President ...

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Warburg, James Paul (18 August 1896–03 June 1969), financier, government official and presidential confidant, and political writer, was born in Hamburg, Germany, the son of Paul Moritz Warburg, a banker, and Nina Jenny Loeb. James Warburg was settled with his family in the United States in 1901 and naturalized in 1911 along with his eminent father, a brilliant financier. If Paul Warburg embodied the classic reserve and discipline of the fin de siècle German-Jewish elite, the rebellious and impetuous James seemed equally and defiantly proud of the free-wheeling American style that would be his trademark. A brilliant student, James attended private elementary schools in New York City, the Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, and Harvard, where he finished his B.A. in three years, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1916....

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Sidney Weinberg. October 1942. Courtesy of the Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (LC-USE6-D-000432).

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Weinberg, Sidney James (12 October 1891–23 July 1969), investment banker and presidential adviser and administrator, was born in Brooklyn's Red Hook section, as the son of Sophie Barr Weinberg and Pincus Weinberg, a wholesale liquor dealer. As a boy, he attended Brooklyn Public School 13 and at age ten held several part-time jobs. In 1901 he sold newspapers at the Brooklyn ferry station, peeled oysters, and served as a deliverer for a millinery firm. In 1906 the young Weinberg acquired his first experience in the investment world, working first as a broker's runner and then as a helper for two brokers. Having come from a poor family and having wished to improve his plight in life, Weinberg quit school in the eighth grade and went to work full time....