James Paul Warburg
August 18, 1896
Free City of Hamburg (present-day Germany)
|Died||June 3, 1969 (aged 72)|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Occupation||Banker and writer|
|Known for||Key member of Franklin Roosevelt brain trust|
|Spouse(s)||Kay Swift (divorced)|
Phyllis Baldwin (divorced)
• April Gagliano
• Andrea Kaufman
• Kay Levin
• James P. Warburg, Jr.
• Jennifer Warburg
• Philip Warburg
• Sarah Bliumis Dunn
James Paul Warburg (August 18, 1896 – June 3, 1969) was a German-born American banker. He was well known for being the financial adviser to Franklin D. Roosevelt. His father was banker Paul Warburg, member of the Warburg family and "father" of the Federal Reserve system. After World War II, Warburg helped organize the Society for the Prevention of World War III in support of the Morgenthau Plan.
Born in Hamburg, Germany, he was educated at Middlesex School and Harvard University. He served in the Navy Flying Corps during World War I before entering a career in business. He was at the First National Bank of Boston between 1919 and 1921. Between 1921 and 1929 he was Vice President at the International Acceptance Bank. He was president at the International Manhattan Company from 1929 to 1931, then president of the International Acceptance Bank from 1931 to 1932. He was Vice Chairman of the Board at Bank of the Manhattan Company between 1932 and 1935.
While at the Bank of the Manhattan, he became financial adviser to President Roosevelt. This included acting as financial adviser at the 1933 London World Economic Conference. At one time FDR had lived at one of the residences on his father Paul's country estate in New York.
Warburg left government in 1934, having come to oppose certain policies of the New Deal. He was opposed to political non-interventionism, however, and re-entered government service in 1941 as Special Assistant to the Coordinator of Information, William Joseph Donovan. In 1942, when propaganda responsibilities were transferred to the Office of War Information, he became its Overseas Branch Deputy Director. After the end of the war, he wrote numerous books on U.S. foreign policy and was an outspoken advocate for nuclear disarmament. In 1963, along with Sears heir, Philip Stern, he helped to found the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies. Warburg was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He gained some notice in a February 17, 1950, appearance before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in which he said, "We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The question is only whether world government will be achieved by consent or by conquest."
In 1918, Warburg married composer and musician Kay Swift. Swift was a Protestant and Warburg's uncle, Jacob Schiff,who had married Therese Loeb, then objected to the marriage. They married and had three daughters: April Carlotta Warburg Gagliano, Andrea Warburg Kaufman, and Kay Levin. They divorced in late 1934 as a consequence of her long involvement with George Gershwin. In 1935, Warburg married his second wife, Phyllis Baldwin. On September 6, 1948, he married his third wife, Joan Melber, a Congregationalist, in a Christian ceremony. They had four children: James P., Jr., Jennifer, Philip, and Sarah Bliumis Dunn. Warburg is also the grandfather of novelist Katharine Weber, daughter of Andrea. The papers of James Paul Warburg are held at the John F. Kennedy presidential Library.
- It’s Up to Us. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1934.
- Hell Bent for Election. New York: Doubleday Doran, 1935.
- Still Hell Bent. New York: Doubleday, 1936.
- The Long Road Home: The Autobiography of a Maverick. New York: Doubleday, 1964.
- Western Intruders: America's Role in the Far East. New York: Atheneum Books, 1967.
Music Under the pseudonym “Paul James” (his first and middle names reversed), he wrote the lyrics to Swift's 1929 hit song "Can't We Be Friends?" and all their songs in the 1930 musical, Fine and Dandy, which introduced the very popular title song "Fine and Dandy".
- Senate Report (Senate Foreign Relations Committee) (1950). Revision of the United Nations Charter: Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Eighty-First Congress. United States Government Printing Office. p. 494. Testimony on Wikisource
- Ohl, Vicki Fine and Dandy: The Life and Work of Kay Swift p. 33
- The Concord Journal: "April Carlotta (Warburg) Gagliano Obituary" May 29, 2015
- New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths Kaufman, Andrea Warburg" January 18, 2009
- Time Magazine: "Milestones, Sep. 6, 1948"
- The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family" By Ron Chernow p. 716
- The Bronxville Review-Press: "Joan Melber Bride Of James Warburg Daughter Of Mrs. Charles Melber Wed To World Federalist Delegate" 2 September 1948 | "Miss Joan Melber, daughter of Mrs. Charles Philip Melber, and the late Mr. Melber, was married last Saturday in the home of her mother at 450 Bronxville Road, to Mr. James P. Warburg, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Paul M. Warburg. The Reverend Andrew Vance Mc'Cracken performed the ceremony"
- Biographical note at the John F. Kennedy Library
- Hell Bent for Election Warburg's Critique of FDR and the New Deal
- Committee on the History of the Federal Reserve System (Brookings Institution, 1954–1958) at FRASER
- Newspaper clippings about James Warburg in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW