Daniel Guggenheim

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Daniel Guggenheim
Daniel Guggenheim.jpg
Born (1856-07-09)July 9, 1856
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died September 28, 1930(1930-09-28) (aged 74)
Port Washington, New York
Known for Daniel Guggenheim Medal
Children Meyer Robert Guggenheim
Harry Guggenheim
Gladys Eleanor Guggenheim
Parents Meyer Guggenheim
Daniel Guggenheim, 1910

Daniel Guggenheim (July 9, 1856 – September 28, 1930) was an American industrialist and philanthropist, and a son of Meyer Guggenheim.


Born in Philadelphia, Daniel Guggenheim won a lead-silver price war with ASARCO in 1900, and the Guggenheim family took over ASARCO in 1901. Daniel moved aggressively to add mining and smelting properties to the Guggenheims' mining empire.

He was a member of the National Security League, the driving force for moving the then-neutral USA into World War I, which was headed by J.P. Morgan.[1]


During the war, Daniel's son Harry Guggenheim became a pilot and both became avid supporters of aviation technology. In the 1920s they established the Daniel Guggenheim Medal for achievement in aeronautics and provided grants via the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics for aeronautics research at California Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Northwestern University, Stanford University, Syracuse University, the University of Akron, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington. In 1927 he offered a $100,000 main prize and 5 $10,000 prizes for the "Guggenheim Safe Aircraft Competition", which required entered aircraft to be stable in rough air, land in 500 feet and take off in 300 feet, both over an 35 foot obstacle and be able to sustain flight at 35mph, and 38mph with the power off. 15 aircraft were entered of which only two, the American Curtiss Tanager and the British Handley Page Gugnunc met the requirements. The Curtiss Tanager was awarded as the winner in dubious circumstances, and then Handley Page sued Curtiss for unlicensed use of Handley Page slats, and worse, none of the entrants saw production or service afterwards, however indirectly the competition influenced designers in building safer aircraft.


Guggenheim also sparked controversy in the district of Alaska from 1906 onward. He was approached by Stephen Birch, a wealthy miner with big hopes for the development of Alaska and its railroads, in regards to financing Birch's developing copper claims. Guggenheim and his brother formed a gentlemen's agreement with Birch to form the Alaska Syndicate, which purchased just under half of the stock in Birch's company and all of the stock in the Copper River and Northwestern Railway. All of this sparked an "anti-Guggenheim" movement which was integral in political elections and appointments of 1908 in Alaska.[2]


He died on September 28, 1930, at his home in Port Washington, New York.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rothbard, Murray N. Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy. Ludwig von Mises Institute. p. 20. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ Tower, Elizabeth: Captain David Henry Jarvis. ALaska History, Vol 5. No. 1 (Spring 1990)
  3. ^ "Daniel Guggenheim Dies Suddenly at 74 of Heart Disease. Philanthropist, Capitalist and Patron of the Arts Succumbs at Port Washington Home. $2,500,000 Gift the Basis of Important Research. Liberal Donor to Many Charities. A Friend of Labor, He Had Wide Interests in Industry. Leaders in Many Fields Pay Tribute. A Life of Usefulness. Began Work in Switzerland. Was Progressive in Business. Many Business Connections. An Ardent Humanitarian. Devoted to Art. Aeronautics School Created. Newspapers Pay Tribute to His Aid to Aviation.". The New York Times. September 29, 1930. Retrieved 2008-07-30. "Daniel Guggenheim, capitalist and philanthropist, donor of the $2,500,000 Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics and developer of mining and other industrial interests in many parts of the ... His father had settled there in 1848 on arrival from Switzerland, ... Wielding a family power comparable only to that of the house of Rothschild, ..." 

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