Meyer Guggenheim

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Meyer Guggenheim
Meyer Guggenheim.jpg
Born(1828-02-01)February 1, 1828
DiedMarch 15, 1905(1905-03-15) (aged 77)
Barbara Myers
(m. 1852; died 1900)
ChildrenIsaac Guggenheim
Daniel Guggenheim
Murry Guggenheim
Solomon R. Guggenheim
Simon Guggenheim
Benjamin Guggenheim
William Guggenheim
Jeanette Guggenheim
Rose Guggenheim
Cora Guggenheim
RelativesSee Guggenheim family

Meyer Guggenheim (/ˈɡʊɡənhm/ GOOG-in-hime, German: [ˈmaɪər ˈɡʊɡn̩haɪm]; February 1, 1828 – March 15, 1905)[1] was the patriarch of what became known as the Guggenheim family in the United States, which became one of the world's wealthiest families during the 19th century, and remained so during the 20th.

Early life[edit]

Guggenheim was born in Lengnau, Aargau, Switzerland, on February 1, 1828. He was the son of Simon Meyer Guggenheim and Schafeli (née Levinger) Guggenheim and was of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.[2]


After emigrating from Switzerland in 1847 to the United States,[3] he launched a new life in the importing business. He ultimately made his fortune (one of the largest of the 19th century) through business ventures in mining and smelting, mostly in the United States.[3]

After investing in silver mines in the Leadville mining district of Colorado, he expanded into ore smelting in Colorado. He built a number of smelters across the United States and in northern Mexico. As his several sons grew up, they assumed leading roles in the family mining and smelting business.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Guggenheim met Barbara Myers (1834–1900), a fellow immigrant on the ship to the United States, and married her four years later around 1852.[5] Together, they were the parents of ten surviving children.

Five of their seven sons were active in the family businesses, including:[2]

After his wife's death in 1900, Guggenheim and his sons provided $200,000 to Mount Sinai Hospital for the construction of a hospital in her honor.[18] Guggenheim died on March 15, 1905, in Palm Beach, Florida.[1] He was interred at the Salem Fields Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.[19]


Through his son Benjamin, Guggenheim was a grandfather of art collector and socialite Peggy Guggenheim.[20]


  1. ^ a b "MEYER GUGGENHEIM, SMELTER KING, DEAD; Severe Cold Terminated Fatally at Palm Beach. HAD REMARKABLE CAREER Started as Stove Polish Vendor and Finally, with His Seven Sons, Built Up Great Smelting Industry" (PDF). The New York Times. March 17, 1905. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b Davis, John H. (1994). The Guggenheims: An American Epic. New York: S.P.I. Books. ISBN 9781561713516. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Meyer Guggenheim". Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  4. ^ National Mining Hall of Fame, Meyer Guggenheim, accessed 13 January 2014
  5. ^ Reme, Jim; Navarra, Tova; R.N, Tova Navarra (2002). Monmouth University. Arcadia Publishing. p. 29. ISBN 9780738510101. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  6. ^ "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" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 October 1922. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  7. ^ "DANIEL GUGGENHEIM DIES SUDDENLY AT 74 OF HEART DISEASE Philanthropist, Capitalist and Patron of the Arts Succumbs at Port Washington Home. SET UP AERONAUTICS FUND $2,500,000 Gift the Basis of Important Research—Liberal Donor to Many Charities. HE WON WEALTH IN MINING A Friend of Labor, He Had Wide Interests in Industry—Leaders in Many Fields Pay Tribute. A Life of Usefulness. DANIEL GUGGENHEIM DIES SUDDENLY AT 74 Began Work in Switzerland. Was Progressive in Business. Many Business Connections. An Ardent Humanitarian. Devoted to Art. Aeronautics School Created. PHILANTHROPIST CALLED BY DEATH. BRITISH PRAISE GUGGENHEIM. Newspapers Pay Tribute to His Aid to Aviation" (PDF). The New York Times. September 29, 1930. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  8. ^ "M. GUGGENHEIM, 81, FINANCIER, IS DEAD Senior Member of the Family Company Was Son of Mining and Smelting Leader NOTED FOR HIS CHARITIES Founder of Dental Clinic and Patron of Music—Served in Many Directorships Founded a Foundation Became Smelting Director $1,900,000 in Grants" (PDF). The New York Times. November 16, 1939. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  9. ^ "S. R. GUGGENHEIM, MINE OWNER, DIES -- Last of Famous Brothers, Known as an Art Patron, Was 88 Years Old" (PDF). The New York Times. November 3, 1949. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  10. ^ Hoy, Edwin Palmer (1967). The Guggenheims and the American Dream. Funk & Wagnalls. p. 267. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  11. ^ "GUGGENHEIM, DYING, SENT WIFE MESSAGE Tried to Do His Duty, He Asked Steward to Tell Her" (PDF). The New York Times. April 20, 1912. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  12. ^ "W. SELIGMAN KILLS HIMSELF IN A HOTEL; Son of Founder of J. & W. Seligman & Co. Found Dead at the Gerard" (PDF). The New York Times. 13 February 1912. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  13. ^ "S.GUGGENHEIM, 73, FINANCIER, IS DEAD; One of 7 Famous Brothers, Was Smelting Firm Head, an Ex-Senator, Philanthropist" (PDF). The New York Times. 4 November 1941. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  14. ^ "WM. GUGGENHEIM, INDUSTRIALIST, DIES; Philanthropist Was Youngest of Meyer Guggenheim's 7 Sons--Stricken Here ALSO KNOWN AS AUTHOR Managed His Father's Mining Interests in Mexico Before Retirement in 1901" (PDF). The New York Times. June 28, 1941. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Mrs. Rose G. Quicke" (PDF). The New York Times. February 15, 1945. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  16. ^ "MRS. ROSE LOEB WED TO CAPT. C.E. QUICKE Married in the Ritz Apartment of the Bride's Brother, Daniel Guggenheim" (PDF). The New York Times. December 12, 1924. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  17. ^ "MRS. ROTHSCHILD DEAD; Last of the 9 Children of Meyer Guggenheim Was 83". The New York Times. 14 December 1956. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  18. ^ "$200,000 GIFT TO MT. SINAI Meyer Guggenheim and His Sons Provide for a New Hospital. Directors Yesterday Voted to Accept the Donation with Its Conditions — Memorial to Mrs. Guggenheim" (PDF). The New York Times. April 23, 1900. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  19. ^ "MEYER GUGGENHEIM BURIED. "His Success Was Not by Tearing Down" Says Dr. Silverman" (PDF). The New York Times. March 20, 1905. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  20. ^ Shenker, Israel (December 24, 1979). "Peggy Guggenheim Is Dead at 81; Known for Modern Art Collection". Encyclopedia Titanica.

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