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Bache, Jules Semon (09 November 1861–24 March 1944), financier and art collector, was born in New York City, the son of Semon Bache, a merchant of glass and mirrors, and Elizabeth van Praag. Bache attended the Charlier Institute in New York City and supplemented his studies in Frankfurt, Germany. He worked for a few years in his father’s firm before beginning a financial career in the employ of his uncle Leopold Cahn. At the brokerage of Leopold Cahn & Company, Bache worked his way from cashier (1880) to treasurer (1881) to partner (1886). In 1892 he took over the firm, renaming it J. S. Bache & Company. Also in 1892 Bache married Florence Rosalee Scheftel, the daughter of a well-known New York City merchant; they had two children. Bache and his wife were divorced in Paris in 1925....

Article

Hirshhorn, Joseph H. (11 August 1899?–31 August 1981), financier and art collector, was born Joseph Herman Choneh Hirshhorn in the village of Jukst, near Mitau (now Jelgava), Latvia, the son of Lazar Hirshhorn, a grain broker and owner of a general store, and Amelia Friedlander. One year after Joseph’s birth (which some sources list as 1900), his father died of heart disease. His mother and two of his sisters fled Latvia for the United States in 1906. By 1907 Amelia Hirshhorn could afford to send for Joseph and her five other children, who joined her in Brooklyn. She supported the family by working in a sweatshop. Hirshhorn was raised in a succession of railroad flats in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. After his mother was injured in a tenement fire, he learned to fend for himself. Determined to escape poverty, he left school at age twelve or thirteen to make his fortune on Wall Street. Employed initially as an office boy and Western Union messenger, Hirshhorn took his first step into the world of finance by charting stock for the influential ...

Image

Andrew W. Mellon Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1924. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G401-T-4559-003-001-x).

Article

Mellon, Andrew William (24 March 1855–26 August 1937), financier, statesman, and art collector, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Mellon, a lawyer and later a judge, entrepreneur, and banker, and Sarah Jane Negley. Mellon attended public schools in Pittsburgh and Western University of Pennsylvania (now the University of Pittsburgh). While still a student he observed his father’s financial dealings with industrialists ...

Article

Simon, Norton Winfred (05 February 1907–02 June 1993), business executive and art collector, was born in Portland, Oregon, the son of Myer Simon, a department store owner, and Lillian Glickman. After receiving his early education in his hometown, he completed high school in San Francisco, where he moved in 1921 with his father and two sisters following his mother’s death and the collapse of his father’s business. He began his business career while he was still in high school, wholesaling paper products. He relocated to Los Angeles at age sixteen and joined an export concern. In 1923 he entered the University of California at Berkeley but dropped out after only a few weeks....