Edward D. Jones

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For the related company, see Edward Jones Investments.

Edward D. Jones, Sr. (July 29, 1893 – October 10, 1982) was an investment banker born in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Bellefontaine High School in Bellefontaine, Ohio in 1913, then from New York University in 1916.

After graduating from NYU, Jones was employed by N. W. Halsy & Company in New York, which sent him to Ohio to set up a brokerage house. In 1920, Jones then went to work for Blair & Company in St. Louis. Jones left Blair & Company over a dispute over his proceeds from a sale, and founded Edward D. Jones and Company in St. Louis in 1922. Jones handed over daily management responsibilities to his son Ted in 1968. Edward D. Jones died in 1982. The company that Edward Jones founded is called Edward Jones Investments.

Lengthened summary of life[edit]

Edward D. "Ed" Jones Sr. was born in St. Louis on July 29, 1893. His mother, Georgia, died shortly after his birth. His father, Eli, worked in Central and South America. Jones lived with various family members for a large part of his childhood because his father was away working. The family moved often, and after spending his early years in Chattanooga, Panama and Bellefontaine, Ed Jones headed east.

Edward Jones graduated from New York University in 1916 and served two and a half years in the U.S. Navy during World War I. He began his financial-services career as a bond salesman in New York City with a single building, the Woolworth Building, as his first territory.

Later, as a field representative for New York-based Blair & Co., Edward Jones returned to the Midwest. He eventually moved back to St. Louis and opened the first Edward D. Jones & Co. office in 1922. Two of the early mottos of Edward D. Jones & Co. were "The salesman comes first" and "The salesman is your partner."

While Americans invested at a frenzied pace in the middle and late 1920s, the illusion of easy money soon gave way to the realities of speculation, and the "Wall Street Crash" of October 1929. During the harsh times that followed, many firms closed their doors. People lost jobs, fortunes and hope, but Edward Jones was an optimist. Throughout his life, he relied on countless truisms to encourage his salespeople. He was known for saying things like, "Don't worry about your competitors or your expenses; you'll always have plenty of both."

In 1923, Edward Jones married Ursula Griesedieck. They had four children, Ann, David, who died as a child, Martha and Edward D. "Ted" Jones. His marriage to Ursula brought him more than marital responsibilities. The Griesedieck family owned breweries, and Ursula's branch of the family tree produced Stag Beer. Before the ratification of the 21st Amendment, repealing prohibition, Jones persuaded the family to take the company's stock public. When his father-in-law died around 1945, Jones was named president and chairman of the board of the company. He would divide his days, working at Edward D. Jones & Co. in the morning and at Griesedieck in the afternoon. He sold Stag Beer's assets in 1954.

Although Edward Jones turned over the management of the Edward D. Jones & Co. to his son, Ted, in 1968, he continued to be involved in the company on a daily basis. In fact, as had been his practice since founding the firm, Jones insisted on being the first person in the office every day until his death in 1982 at the age of 89. At that time, Edward D. Jones & Co. had grown to 495 branches in 33 states.

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