J. P. Morgan Jr.

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J. P. Morgan Jr.
Morgan in Manhattan at a Liberty bond parade (October 1917)
John Pierpont Morgan Jr.

(1867-09-07)September 7, 1867
DiedMarch 13, 1943(1943-03-13) (aged 75)
Alma materHarvard College
  • Financier
  • banker
  • philanthropist
(m. 1890; died 1925)
Children4, including Junius Spencer Morgan III and Henry Sturgis Morgan
RelativesMorgan family

John Pierpont Morgan Jr. (September 7, 1867 – March 13, 1943) was an American banker, finance executive, and philanthropist.[1] He inherited the family fortune and took over the business interests including J.P. Morgan & Co. after his father J. P. Morgan died in 1913.

After graduating from St. Paul's School and Harvard College, Morgan trained as a finance executive working for his father and grandfather. He became a banking financier, a lending leader, and a director of several companies. He supported New York's Society for the Lying-In Hospital, the Red Cross, the Episcopal Church, and endowed the creation of a rare book and manuscript collection at the Morgan Library.

Morgan brokered a deal that positioned his company as the sole munitions and supplies purchaser during World War I for the British and French governments, bringing his company a 1% commission on $3 billion ($30 million). He was also a banking broker for financing to foreign governments both during and after the war.

Early life[edit]

John Pierpont Morgan Jr, nicknamed Jack, was born on September 7, 1867, in Irvington, New York, to J. P. Morgan and Frances Louisa Tracy. He graduated from St. Paul's School, and later in 1886 from Harvard College, where he was a member of the Delphic Club, formerly known as the Delta Phi.

His siblings included Louisa Pierpont Morgan (1866–1946), who married Herbert L. Satterlee (1863–1947),[2] Juliet Pierpont Morgan (1870–1952) who married William Pierson Hamilton (1869–1950), and Anne Tracy Morgan (1873–1952), a philanthropist. His paternal grandparents were Junius Spencer Morgan (1813–1890)[3] and Juliet Pierpont (1816–1884), the daughter of John Pierpont.[4][5]


John Pierpont Morgan Jr. walking alongside his father J. P. Morgan in the last known photograph of the two together (ca. 1913)

The younger Morgan resembled his father in his dislike for publicity and continued his father's philanthropic policy. In 1905, his father acquired the Guaranty Trust bank as part of his efforts to consolidate banking in New York City. After his father died in 1913, the bank became John's base.

World War I[edit]

Morgan played a prominent part in financing World War I. Following its outbreak, he made the first loan of $12,000,000 to Russia.[6] In 1915, a loan of $500,000,000 was made to France and Britain following negotiations by the Anglo-French Financial Commission.[7] The firm's involvement with British and French interests fueled charges the bank was conspiring to maneuver the United States into supporting the Allies in order to rescue its loans. By 1915, when it became apparent the war was not going to end quickly, the company decided to forge formal relationships with France.[8] Those dealings became strained over the course of the war as a result of poor personal relations with French emissaries, relationships that were heightened in importance by the unexpected duration of the conflict, its costs, and the complications flowing from American neutrality. Contributing to the tensions was the favoritism displayed by Morgan officials to British interests.[9] His personal friendship with Cecil Spring Rice ensured that from 1915 until sometime after the United States entered the war, his firm was the official purchasing agent for the British government, buying cotton, steel, chemicals and food, receiving a 1% commission on all purchases.[10] Morgan organized a syndicate of about 2200 banks and floated a loan of $500,000,000 to the Allies. The British sold off their holdings of American securities and by late 1916 were dependent on unsecured loans for further purchases.[11]

At the beginning of World War I, US Treasury Secretary William McAdoo and others in the Wilson administration were very suspicious of J. P. Morgan & Co.'s enthusiastic role as British agent for purchasing and banking. When the United States entered the war, this gave way to close collaboration, in the course of which Morgan received financial concessions.[12] From 1914 to 1919, he was a member of the advisory council for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.[10]

On July 3, 1915, an assassin, Eric Muenter, entered Morgan's Long Island mansion and shot him twice. This was ostensibly to bring about an embargo on arms, and in protest of his profiteering from war. Morgan, however, quickly recovered from his wounds.[13]


Time cover, September 24, 1923

After World War I and the Versailles Treaty, Morgan Guaranty managed Germany's reparation payments. After the war, Morgan made several trips to Europe to investigate and report on financial conditions there. In 1919 he was for a time chairman of the international committee, composed of American, British and French bankers, for the protection of the holders of Mexican securities. In November 1919, he was made a director of the Foreign Finance Corporation, which was organized to engage in the investment of funds chiefly in foreign enterprises. By the 1920s, Morgan Guaranty had become one of the world's most important banking institutions, as a leading lender to Germany and Europe.[10][14] During the Great Depression he took heavy financial losses. The assets of the House of Morgan fell 40% from $704 million to $425 million.[15] American banking came under heavy attack.[16] Morgan personified banking, and drew attacks from politicians, especially in the U.S. Senate's Pecora hearings of 1932, which "created a tidal wave of anger against Wall Street".[17][18]

He was a director in numerous corporations, including the U.S. Steel Corp., the Pullman Co., the Aetna Insurance Co., and the Northern Pacific Railway Co.[10]

He died of a stroke on March 13, 1943, in Boca Grande, Florida.[19]

Morgan family memorial in Cedar Hill Cemetery

Personal life[edit]

Jack's brownstone, now part of the Morgan Library

In 1890, Morgan married Jane Norton Grew (1868–1925), daughter of Boston banker and mill owner Henry Sturgis Grew. She was the aunt of Henry Grew Crosby. The couple raised four children:


In 1920, Morgan gave his London residence, 14 Princes Gate (near Imperial College London), to the U.S. government for use as its embassy.

In 1924, Morgan created the Pierpont Morgan Library as a public institution as a memorial to his father. Belle da Costa Greene, Morgan's personal librarian, became the first director and continued the aggressive acquisition and expansion of the collections of illuminated manuscripts, authors' original manuscripts, incunabula, prints, and drawings, early printed Bibles, and many examples of fine bookbinding. Today the library is a complex of buildings which serve as a museum and scholarly research center.

Morgan donated many valuable works to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[24]


A yachtsman, like his father, Morgan served as commodore of the New York Yacht Club from 1919 to 1921. In 1930, he built the turbo electric driven yacht Corsair IV at Bath Iron Works in Maine. Corsair IV, launched April 10, 1930, was one of the most opulent yachts of its day and the largest built in the United States with an overall length of 343 feet (104.5 m), 42 feet (12.8 m) beam and 2,142 GRT.[25][26] Legend at the shipyard credits the phrase "If you have to ask, you can't afford it" to Morgan, when asked what the yacht cost. However, this quote is most often attributed to his father in connection with the yacht Corsair, launched in 1891. Morgan sold the Corsair IV to the British Admiralty in 1940 for one dollar to assist with Britain's war effort.[27] After the war the Corsair IV was sold to Pacific Cruise Lines and, on September 29, 1947, began service as a luxury cruise ship operating between Long Beach, California and Acapulco, Mexico. On November 12, 1949 the yacht struck a rock near the beach in Acapulco and, although all passengers and crew were rescued, was deemed a total loss.[28]

Morgan was a member of the Jekyll Island Club (a.k.a. "The Millionaires' Club") on Jekyll Island, Georgia, as had been his father J. P. Morgan Sr.


  1. ^ J.P. Morgan Jr. Papers: Box #, Folder #. Archives of The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.
  2. ^ J. Pierpont Morgan, Satterlee, Herbert L., New York: The Macmillan Company, 1939.
  3. ^ "J.S. Morgan's Death". The New York Times. April 10, 1890. p. 1. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  4. ^ Witzel, Morgan (2003). Fifty Key Figures in Management. Routledge. p. 207. ISBN 9781134201150. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  5. ^ J.P. Morgan's Way. Pearson Education. 2010. p. 2. ISBN 9780137084371. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  6. ^ Horn (2000) pp 85-90
  7. ^ "$500,000,000 Fixed as Allies' Credit – Lord Reading of Anglo-French Commission Meets Bankers in Morgan Library – Russia Finally Barred Out – Negotiations Progressing and Announcement of Terms of the Deal May Be Made by Sunday". New York Times. September 24, 1915. p. 1. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  8. ^ Dayer, Roberta Allbert (1976). "Strange Bedfellows: J. P. Morgan & Co., Whitehall and the Wilson Administration During World War I". Business History. 18 (2): 127–151 [pp. 130–142]. doi:10.1080/00076797600000014.
  9. ^ Horn (2000) pp 91-103
  10. ^ a b c d Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Morgan, John Pierpont" . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Company.
  11. ^ Burk, Kathleen (1979). "The Diplomacy of Finance: British Financial Missions to the United States, 1914–1918". Historical Journal. 22 (2): 351–372. doi:10.1017/s0018246x00016861. JSTOR 2638869. S2CID 162212604.
  12. ^ Dayer, Roberta Allbert (1976). "Strange Bedfellows: J. P. Morgan & Co., Whitehall and the Wilson Administration During World War I". Business History. 18 (2): 127–151. doi:10.1080/00076797600000014.
  13. ^ Chernow (1990) ch 10
  14. ^ Hunt, James (2008). "Guaranty Trust: Morgan's Broadway Baby". Financial History. 90: 32–35.
  15. ^ Chernow, p 349.
  16. ^ Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr. (1957). The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919-1933. p. 158. ISBN 0618340858.
  17. ^ Chernow, p 356.
  18. ^ J. Bradford De Long, "JP Morgan and his money trust." Wilson Quarterly 16.4 (1992): 16-30.
  19. ^ "J.P. MORGAN DIES, VICTIM OF STROKE AT FLORIDA RESORT; Financier, 75, Had a Recurrence of Heart Ailment on Vacation Trip 2 Weeks Ago 2 CHILDREN AT BEDSIDE Head of Noted Private Banking House Was Widely Known Art Patron, Philanthropist Death of J.P. Morgan Ends Long Career in World Finance". The New York Times. United Press International. March 13, 1943. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  20. ^ Garofalo, Robert Joseph (1994). Frederick Shepherd Converse (1871-1940): His Life and Music. Scarecrow Press. p. 13. ISBN 9780810828438. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  21. ^ "GEORGE NICHOLS, 72, YACHTSMAN, IS DEAD; Sailed America's Cup Vessels for Many Years and Served on Racing Rules Bodies" (PDF). The New York Times. August 15, 1950. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  22. ^ Schaer, Sidney C. (March 14, 1989). "Morgan Daughter Dies; Last surviving child was 92". Newsday. Retrieved October 30, 2009. Mrs. Pennoyer, the mother of six, a grandmother of 28 and a great-grandmother of 31, lived in the English-Norman styled home on an estate called "Round Bush" in Locust Valley. Born into a family whose name was synonymous with international banking, immense wealth and philanthropy, she nevertheless lived a private life...
  23. ^ "Paul C. Pennoyer, 80, Lawyer. Active in Various Fields, Dies" (PDF). The New York Times. July 1, 1971. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  24. ^ "Freedom: A History of US. Biography. J.P. Morgan | PBS". PBS.
  25. ^ Pacific American Steamship Association; Shipowners Association of the Pacific Coast (1930). "Progress of Construction: Bath Iron Works". Pacific Marine Review. San Francisco: J.S. Hines. 27 (July): 314. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  26. ^ Maine Historical Society. "Launching of the yacht Corsair (IV) at Bath Iron Works, 1930". Maine Memory Network. Maine Historical Society. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  27. ^ MacKay, Robert B. (2014). Great Yachts of Long Island's North Shore. Charleston, North Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. p. 54. ISBN 9781467121521. LCCN 2013950193. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  28. ^ Goossens, Reuben. "SS Corsair IV". ssMaritime.com & ssMaritime.net. Retrieved April 22, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
position created
Chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co.
January 31, 1943 – March 13, 1943
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chairman of U.S. Steel
August 15, 1927 – March 29, 1932
Succeeded by
Awards and achievements
Preceded by Cover of Time Magazine
September 24, 1923
Succeeded by