Alexander Sachs

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Alexander Sachs (August 1, 1893 – June 23, 1973) was a Jewish American economist and banker. In 1939, he delivered the Einstein–Szilárd letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt, in which it was suggested that nuclear research should be fomented.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Rossien, Lithuania, Sachs moved to the U.S. in 1904 to join his brother, Joseph A. Sachs, who was instrumental in his further education. He was educated at Townsend Harris High School in New York City, the City College of New York, and Columbia College. In 1913 he joined the municipal bond department at Boston-based investment bank Lee, Higginson & Co., but in 1915 returned to education as a graduate student in social sciences, philosophy and jurisprudence at Harvard College. In later life he was on the faculty at Princeton University.

Between 1918 and 1921 he was an aide to Justice Louis Brandeis and the Zionist Organization of America on international problems of the Middle East and the World War I peace conference.

From 1922 to 1929 he was economist and investment analyst for Walter Eugene Meyer in equity investment acquisitions. He then organized and became Director of Economics Investment Research at the Lehman Corporation, a newly established investment company of Lehman Brothers. From 1931 he joined the board at Lehman. He was Vice President from 1936 to 1943, remaining on the board until his death in 1973.

In 1933, Sachs served as organizer and chief of the economic research division of the National Recovery Administration. In 1936, he served on the National Policy Committee. During the war, he was economic adviser to the Petroleum Industry War Council, and special counsel to the director of the Office of Strategic Services. He was knighted by the Queen of England and at the time of his death held the title of Sir Alexander Sachs. He is survived by his nephew, Zachary H. Sacks, an attorney in Los Angeles, California.

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