Edwin Lefèvre

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Edwin Lefèvre (1871–1943) was an American journalist, writer, and diplomat most noted for his writings on Wall Street business.

Lefèvre was born George Edwin Henry Lefèvre on 23 January 1871 in Colón, Colombia (now Republic of Panama), the son of Henry Lefèvre (1841–1899), who was for many years the general agent of the Pacific Steamship Company American for Panama; he was born in the Jersey in the Channel Islands and emigrated to the United States in his youth. Mr. Lefèvre sent his son Edwin to the United States when he was a boy and he was educated at Lehigh University where he received training as a mining engineer. However, at the age of nineteen, he began his career as a journalist and eventually became a stockbroker, as well. Following his father's death, he inherited some wealth and became an independent investor; and while living in Hartsdale, New York a collection of Edwin Lefèvre's short stories were published (1901) under the title "Wall Street Stories." This was followed by several novels about money and finance until 1908 when Lefèvre and his wife Martha and their children moved to a country estate in East Dorset, Vermont. During the 1909–1913 presidency of William Howard Taft, Lefèvre served as ambassador to a number of countries including Italy, Spain, and France.[citation needed] Lefèvre did work as a broker on Wall Street and was the financial writer for the New York Sun newspaper. He later returned to his home in Vermont where he resumed his literary work, providing short stories for magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and writing novels.

Of the eight books written by Edwin Lefèvre his Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is considered a classic of American business writing. The book began as a series of twelve articles published between 1922 and 1923 in The Saturday Evening Post. It is written as first-person fiction, telling the story of a professional stock trader on Wall Street. While published as fiction, it is generally accepted to be the biography of stock market whiz Jesse Livermore. The book has been reprinted in almost every decade since its original publication in 1925, the latest put out by John Wiley & Sons in hardcover and paperback in 1994 which remains in print. It has been translated into the Chinese, German, French,[1] Polish, and Italian languages, amongst others. A George H. Doran Company first edition, even in fair condition, can sell today for more than a thousand dollars. In December 2009, Wiley published an Annotated Edition that bridges the gap between Lefèvre's fictionalized account and the actual exploits, personalities, and locations that populate the book. Page margins in the 2009 edition explain the historical setting and the real companies, individuals, and news events to which Lefèvre alludes.

In 1925, Lefèvre came out with a second book about a stock trader, a factual biography with the title "The Making of a Stockbroker." This book was about John K. Wing, a senior partner of Bronson and Barnes, a major Boston stockbrokerage, whose approach to the business provided a contrast to that of Jesse Livermore.

On his death in 1943, Edwin Lefèvre's estate in Dorset, Vermont (near Manchester) was passed to his widow. Built in 1812, it was the first home in the United States made with marble quarried right on the property. Eldest son, Edwin Lefèvre, Jr. (b. 1902), who also worked on Wall Street, inherited the home and completely restored it in 1968 when he retired there. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Their second son, Reid Lefèvre (b. 1904), was the founder of the traveling carnival known as the "King Reid Show" and a politician. He was elected to the Vermont General Assembly, serving as a member of the House of Representatives from 1947 to 1959 and the state Senate from 1961 to 1963.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Wall Street Stories (1901)
  • Golden Flood (1905)
  • Sampson Rock of Wall Street (1907)
  • H.R. (1915)
  • Plunderers (1916)
  • To the Last Penny (1917)
  • Simonetta (1919)
  • Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (1923)
  • Making of a Stockbroker (1925)

References[edit]

External links[edit]