Guggenheim family

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View from Grand Canal onto Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice, Italy
An ASARCO mine near Garfield, Utah

The Guggenheim family (/ˈɡʊɡənhm/ GUUG-ən-hyme) is an American-Jewish family known for making their fortune in the mining industry, in the early 20th century, especially in the United States and South America. After World War I, many family members withdrew from the businesses and became involved in philanthropy, especially in the arts, aviation, medicine, and culture.


Meyer Guggenheim, a Swiss citizen of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, arrived in the United States in 1847. His surname was derived from the Alsatian village of Gugenheim.[1] He married Barbara Meyer, whom he met in the United States.[citation needed] Over the next few decades, their several children and descendants became known for their global successes in mining and smelting businesses, under the name Guggenheim Exploration, including the American Smelting and Refining Company. In the early 20th century, the family developed one of the largest fortunes in the world.[citation needed]

Following World War I, they sold their global mining interests and later purchased nitrate mines in Chile. Subsequently, the family largely withdrew from direct involvement in running businesses.[2] Family members became known for their philanthropy in diverse areas such as modern art, aviation, and medicine. They donated funds to develop Guggenheim Museums, the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory, and the Guggenheim Pavilion at Mount Sinai Medical Center, designed by I. M. Pei in New York City.[2][citation needed]

Current interests[edit]

Guggenheim Partners today manages over $200 billion in assets.[3] Another family vehicle, Guggenheim Investment Advisors, oversees about $50 billion in assets.[4]

Family tree[edit]

Meyer Guggenheim (1828–1905) married Barbara Meyer, of German Jewish descent, in 1852. They met in the United States. They had eleven children together, including eight sons, five of whom were active in the family businesses: Isaac, Daniel, Maurice "Murry", Solomon Robert, and (John) Simon Guggenheim. Sons Benjamin, Robert and William pursued other careers. The daughters were Jeanette, Rose and Cora. Meyer's 11 children, their spouses, and notable descendants are shown below:

  • Meyer Guggenheim (1828–1905), m. Barbara Meyer (1834–1900) (m. 1852–her death)
Sinking of RMS Titanic
    • Benjamin Guggenheim (1865–1912), died in the Titanic disaster; m. Florette Seligman (1870–1937) (m. 1895–his death)[11]
      • Benita Rosalind Guggenheim (1895–1927)
      • Marguerite "Peggy" Guggenheim (1898–1979), founded the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice
        • m. Laurence Vail (div. 1928)
        • m. Max Ernst (1891–1976) (m. 1941; div. 1946)
      • Barbara Hazel Guggenheim (1903–1995),
        • m. Sigmund Marshall Kempner (m. 1921; div. 1922)[13]
        • m. Milton S. Waldman (m. 1923; div. 1930)[13]
          • Terrence Waldman (1924–1928)[13]
          • Benjamin Waldman (1927–1928)[13]
          • Terrence (four-and-a-half years old) and Benjamin (fourteen months) both fell to their deaths from the roof of the Surrey, a sixteen-story apartment hotel at 20 East Seventy-sixth Street, New York, on October 19, 1928.[14]
        • m. Denys King-Farlow (Hugh St. Denys Nettleton King-Farlow) (m. 1930; div.)[15]
          • John King-Farlow (1932–2002)[15]
          • Barbara Benita King-Farlow (1934–?)[15]
            • Ghislaine Agostini
            • Amelia Kaye
            • Adam Jacobs
        • m. Charles Everett McKinley, Jr. (d. 1942) (m. ?–his death)[15]
        • m. Archibald Butt Jr. (div.)
        • m. Larry Leonard (div.)
    • Robert Guggenheim (1867–1876)
    • (John) Simon Guggenheim (1867–1941), elected as a U.S. Senator from Colorado; m. Olga Hirsch (1877–1970) (m. 1898–his death)
      • John Simon Guggenheim (1905–1922)
      • George Denver Guggenheim (1907–1939)
    • William Guggenheim (1868–1941)
      • m. Grace Brown Herbert (m. 1900; div. 1901)
      • m. Aimee Lillian Steinberger (m. 1904–his death)[16][17]
        • William Guggenheim, Jr. (1907–1947), m. Elizabeth Newell (m. 1937–his death) [she later m. William J. Broadhurst]
          • William Guggenheim III (1939– )
            • m. Grace Embury (div.)[18]
              • Maire Guggenheim[18]
              • Jaenet Guggenheim[18]
            • m. Judith Arnold[18]
              • William Douglas Guggenheim (1970– )[18]
              • Christopher Mark Guggenheim (1976– )[18]
              • Jonathan Paul Guggenheim (1978– )[18]
    • Rose Guggenheim (1871–1945), m. Albert Loeb, the nephew of Solomon Loeb[11]
      • Harold A. Loeb (1891–1974)
      • Edwin M. Loeb (1894–1966)
      • Willard E. Loeb (1896–1958)
    • Cora Guggenheim (1873–1956), m. Louis F. Rothschild (1869–1957), founder of L.F. Rothschild[11]
      • Louis F. Rothschild, Jr. (1900–1902)
      • Muriel B. Rothschild (1903–?), m. William Donald Scott
      • Gwendolyn F. Rothschild (1906–1983)


  1. ^ Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz.
  2. ^ a b Davis, passim
  3. ^ "The Guggenheim Connection: Fame, Riches and a Masquerade", The New York Times, September 18, 2011
  4. ^ "Guggenheim 'Excited' About Private Equity, Likes Macro Funds". Bloomberg. October 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
  5. ^ a b "Isaac Guggenheim Dies in England; Overcome by Sudden Illness after Greeting a Friend in Southampton. Leader in Mining Industry Identified with Large Industrial Interests of His Family--Body to Be Brought Here". The New York Times. No. 11 October 1922. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b Davis, p. 422
  7. ^ a b c "Audrey B. Love, 100, a Patron of the Arts". The New York Times. No. 27 November 2003. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  8. ^ Filler, Martin. "Love Among the Ruins", Departures, March 30, 2010
  9. ^ Davis, p. 145
  10. ^ Davis, p. 168
  11. ^ a b c Davis, p. 82
  12. ^ a b c Davis, p. 337
  13. ^ a b c d Davis, [ p. 326
  14. ^ "2 Guggenheim heirs die in 13-story fall: baby boy and brother drop". The New York Times. No. 20 October 1928. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  15. ^ a b c d Davis, p. 328
  16. ^ "William Guggenheim and Miss Amy Lelia Steinberger, the daughter of Mrs. Herman Steinberger". The New York Times. No. 1904.
  17. ^ Davis, John (1994). The Guggenheims: An American Epic. SPI Books. p. 436. ISBN 9781561713516.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Davis, p. 439

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]