December 9, 1821|
|Died||July 20, 1904
New York City
|Occupation||Banker, businessman, financier|
Marcus Goldman (December 9, 1821 – July 20, 1904) was an American banker, businessman, and financier. He was born in Trappstadt, Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1848. He was the founder of Goldman Sachs, which became one of the world's largest investment banks.
Goldman came from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, the son of Ella and Wolf Goldmann, a former schoolteacher and cattle dealer. He immigrated to the United States from Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 1848 during the first great wave of Jewish immigration to America, resulting from the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states.
Upon arriving in America, he worked as a peddler with a horse-drawn cart and later as a shopkeeper in Philadelphia. There, Goldman met and married eighteen-year-old Bertha Goldman (no relation), who had also emigrated from Germany in 1848.
In 1869, with his wife and five children, Goldman relocated to New York City and hung out a shingle on Pine Street in lower Manhattan, with the legend "Marcus Goldman & Co.", setting himself up as a broker of IOUs.
From his earliest days of his business, Goldman was able to singlehandedly transact as much as $5 million worth of commercial paper a year. Successful though he was, Goldman's business was insignificant compared to that of the other Jewish-German bankers of the day. Concerns like J. & W. Seligman & Co., with working capital of $6 million in 1869, were already modern-day investment bankers immersed in underwriting and trading railroad bonds.
Goldman's youngest daughter, Louisa, married Samuel Sachs, the son of close friends and fellow Lower Franconia, Bavaria immigrants. Louisa's older sister and Sam's older brother had already married.
In 1882, Goldman invited his son-in-law Samuel to join him in the business and changed the firm's name to M. Goldman and Sachs. Business boomed—by 1880 the new firm was turning over $30 million worth of paper a year—and the firm's capital was now $100,000, all of it the senior partner's.
For almost fifty years after its inception, all of Goldman Sachs's partners were members of intermarried families. In 1885, Goldman took his own son Henry and his son-in-law Ludwig Dreyfuss into the business as junior partners and the firm adopted its present name, Goldman Sachs & Co. In 1894, Henry Sachs entered the firm, and in 1896, the firm joined the New York Stock Exchange.
When Goldman retired, he left the firm in the hands of his son Henry Goldman and his son-in-law Samuel Sachs. In 1904, two of Sachs' sons, Arthur and Paul, joined the firm immediately after graduating from Harvard University. Goldman died in summer 1904.
- Kappner, Cordula (2008-03-12). "Marcus Goldmann und der amerikanische Traum". Mainpost (in German).
Further reading 
- Supple, Barry E. (1957). "A Business Elite: German-Jewish Financiers in Nineteenth-Century New York". Business History Review (The Business History Review, Vol. 31, No. 2) 31 (2): 143–178. doi:10.2307/3111848. JSTOR 3111848.
|Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs