Charles W. Engelhard Jr.
Charles W. Engelhard Jr.
|Born||February 15, 1917|
|Died||March 2, 1971 (aged 54)|
|Alma mater||Oxford University|
|Occupation||Industrialist, Racehorse owner|
|Net worth||$250 million|
|Spouse(s)||Jane Mannheimer (1947–1971; his death)|
|Children||Anne Mannheimer-Engelhard |
Susan Engelhard O'Connor
Jane Elizabeth Sophie Engelhard Craighead
Charlene Engelhard Troy
|Parent(s)||Charles W. Engelhard Sr.|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||7 November 1941 – 1945|
Charles W. Engelhard Jr. (February 15, 1917 – March 2, 1971) was an American businessman who controlled an international mining and metals conglomerate, as well as a major owner in Thoroughbred horse racing, and a candidate in the 1955 New Jersey State Senate Elections.
Engelhard made his fortune in the precious metals industry, where he operated a company founded by his father, Charles W Engelhard Sr. During World War II, he served with the United States Army Air Forces and, in 1947, Engelhard married the widow Jane Mannheimer. Engelhard would adopt Mannheimer's daughter, Anne France Mannheimer, and eventually have four more daughters with his wife. Shortly before his death in 1971, Engelhard disposed of most of his South African businesses, selling them to Anglo-American companies.
Charles Engelhard was a major contributor to the United States Democratic Party and in the 1960 presidential election organized the National Committee of Business and Professional Men and Women for Kennedy and Johnson. In 1955, he ran for New Jersey State Senate against Malcolm Forbes in the "Battle of the Billionaires", but lost 19,981 to 19,611.
As a young man, Engelhard worked in a metals processing business which had been founded in 1902 by his German American father, Charles Engelhard Sr., dealing in platinum, gold, and silver. Upon the death of his father in 1950, Charles Engelhard inherited the family business. He substantially expanded operations to South Africa, South America and Europe and built it into one of the world's leading refiners of precious metals. In 1958, he consolidated the various operating companies into Engelhard Corporation and issued a public share offering on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1961, Time described him as, "one of the most powerful businessmen in South Africa".
As a result of his company's need for gold acquisitions from South African suppliers, Engelhard became a major investor in the country, acquiring gold, copper and coal mining ventures as well as investing in industrial concerns. He set up a publicly traded holding company in the U.S. that raised capital for investments in South African business. The company made investments alone and in conjunction with South African business tycoon, Harry Oppenheimer whose Anglo American plc dominated the South African mining industry. Engelhard maintained a residence in South Africa and was elected to Anglo American's Board of Directors. At home, some criticized him for indirectly supporting the country's apartheid regime. Retrospectively summing up Engelhard's impact on the country, Anglo American stated that: "In difficult times, when South Africa was badly in need of capital, Engelhard played a vital and significant role in helping to bring it from abroad. He thus not only restored confidence in the country's economy, but actively assisted in boosting it."
Charles Engelhard supported numerous humanitarian and benevolent causes in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Engelhard Dam on the Letaba River in Kruger National Park is named in his honor in gratitude for donations to the South African National Parks Board.
The Charles Engelhard Foundation, headed by his wife after his death and by their children following her death in 2004, provides funding to a wide range of causes including education, medical research, cultural institutions, and wildlife and conservation organizations. It has made major donations to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where the Charles Engelhard Court can be found in its American Wing, built the library at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and has been a generous supporter of a number of University of Montana academic programs. In 1967, he and his wife donated an elaborate 18th-century Neapolitan crêche to the White House.
Engelhard developed a love of Thoroughbred horse racing and would become a major force in the industry with racing stables in England and South Africa, plus in Aiken, South Carolina where his Cragwood Stables was named for his estate in Far Hills, New Jersey. Primarily trained by future U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, MacKenzie Miller in the U.S., he raced notable horses such as Red Reality, Assagai, Tentam, Alley Fighter, and the U.S. Champion sire, Halo. His best known South African horse was Hawaii who won a number of important races in that country until being brought to compete in the U.S. in 1969 where he won several Grade 1 stakes and was voted the 1969 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Male Turf Horse. Following his death, his widow donated a large collection of racing trophies that were won by Cragwood horses in the U.S. between 1962 and 1976.
While Engelhard was very successful racing Thoroughbreds in the United States, he and his wife also maintained a residence in London and it was in England where he had his greatest achievements in racing. His horses won British Classic Races six times including the St. Leger Stakes in 1964, 1967, 1968 and again in 1970 when he won it for the fourth time with the horse that brought him international fame and who would make him that year's British flat racing Champion Owner. Purchased at Windfields Farm's annual yearling sale in Ontario, Canada, Nijinsky would be sent to Ireland to be conditioned by Vincent O'Brien. The colt would earn Champion Two-Year-Old honors for his undefeated 1969 racing campaign. The next year, en route to being voted European Horse of the Year, Nijinsky won the 2,000 Guineas, The Derby, and the St. Leger Stakes to become the first horse in thirty-five years to win the English Triple Crown, and only narrowly failed to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe by a short head to Sassafras. A 1970 motion picture was made about the colt titled A Horse Called Nijinsky and a 2000 Sun newspaper poll voted him Britain's Horse of the Millennium.
Engelhard died in 1971 at the age of fifty-four in Boca Grande, Florida.
Inspiration for Goldfinger
Engelhard is reported by numerous sources, including Forbes and The New York Times, to have been the inspiration for the fictional character Auric Goldfinger in the Ian Fleming novel Goldfinger and the subsequent motion picture. According to the Times, Engelhard was a close acquaintance of Fleming and delighted in the characterization.
- "Milestones, Mar. 15, 1971". Time. 15 March 1971. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.
- "Cragwood Stable Trophy Exhibit". Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- Wally Edge (29 April 2009). "The battle of the billionaires". PolitickerNJ. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- The battle of the Billionaires| Politicker NJ by Wally Edge April 29, 2009
- "Corporations: South African Invader". Time. 27 January 1961. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Engelhard Dam". Siyabona Africa. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "UM Foundation". University of Montana. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Belmont Loses Nijinsky to Newmarket", The New York Times, October 13, 1970. Accessed December 9, 2007. "Charles W. Engelhard of Far Hills, N.J., millionaire racehorse owner, gave approval today for his colt, Nijinsky, to race in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday."
- Rovi. "A Horse Called Nijinsky (1970)". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 November 2011.