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date: 28 May 2020

Morgenthau, Henry, Jr.locked

(11 May 1891–06 February 1967)
  • Dean L. May


Morgenthau, Henry, Jr. (11 May 1891–06 February 1967), secretary of the treasury, was born in New York City, the son of Henry Morgenthau, a businessman and entrepreneur, and Josephine Sykes. His father, of German-Jewish ancestry, amassed a considerable fortune through investment in real estate properties in the Bronx and Harlem. Both of his parents were activists in the Democratic party and in social welfare causes, including the Henry Street Settlement, the Bronx House, and efforts to improve fire safety conditions in depressed areas of New York City. The senior Morgenthau served as head of finance for the Democratic National Committee in 1912 and again in 1916 and was ambassador to Turkey during World War I. Morgenthau felt a particularly heavy burden of paternal expectations because he was the only son and bore his father’s name. His youth was beset by personal anxieties that the financial ease assured by his father’s wealth could not dispel....

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