Henry Phipps, Jr.

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Henry Phipps, Jr.
Henry Phipps 1913.jpg
Henry Phipps in 1913
Born (1839-09-27)September 27, 1839
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
United States
Died September 22, 1930(1930-09-22) (aged 90)
Great Neck, Long Island, New York, United States
Residence Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
New York City (1901)
Known for Co-founder Carnegie Steel Co., Philanthropy
Net worth USD $60 million at the time of his death (approximately 1/1506th of US GNP)[1]
Board member of Carnegie Steel Co.
United States Steel Corp.
Religion Episcopalian
Spouse(s) Anne Childs Shaffer
Children John Shaffer Phipps (1874–1958)
Amy Phipps (1876–1959)
Henry Carnegie Phipps (1879–1953)
Howard Phipps (1881–1981)
Helen Margaret Phipps (d. 1934)
Parent(s) Henry & Hannah Phipps

Henry Phipps, Jr. (September 27, 1839 – September 22, 1930) was an American entrepreneur and major philanthropist.


He was the son of an English shoemaker who emigrated in the early part of the 19th century to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before settling in Pittsburgh. When he was a child, he was a friend and neighbor to Andrew Carnegie. As a young man, he went to work as an office boy and bookkeeper. He proved a capable financier and became Carnegie's business partner in Carnegie Steel Company which would make him a very wealthy man as the company's second largest shareholder. He was also a successful real estate investor but after selling his stock in Carnegie Steel, Phipps devoted a great deal of his time and money to philanthropic works.

In 1872, Henry Phipps married Anne Childs Shaffer, the daughter of Margaret and John Shaffer, a Pittsburgh wagon builder. The couple had two daughters, Helen Phipps, who married Bradley Martin, and Amy Phipps; and three sons, John Shaffer Phipps; Henry Carnegie Phipps, who married Gladys Mills Phipps; and Howard Phipps. In 1905 daughter Amy (1876–1959) married Frederick Edward Guest, the grandson of the seventh Duke of Marlborough and Winston Churchill's first cousin.

Henry Phipps believed that those who have achieved great wealth should give back for the public good and create institutions dedicated to that purpose.[2] As such he was involved with a number of philanthropic causes, the best known of which is the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Schenley Park, an 1893 gift to the city of Pittsburgh. Among his many benevolent works, he also funded the Phipps Institute for the Study, Treatment and Prevention of Tuberculosis at the University of Pennsylvania and The Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital which in 1913 made possible the first inpatient facility in the United States for the mentally ill constructed as part of an acute care hospital. An advocate of decent housing for the poor, in 1905 Phipps funded the non-profit Phipps Houses to build affordable housing in New York City.[3] Phipps Houses still operates to this day; Henry Phipps's great-grandson, Stuart S. Janney III, sits on its Board of Trustees.

In 1926, Henry Phipps bought Island Beach which was sold by his heirs in 1953 to the State of New Jersey. Now known as Island Beach State Park, it is the last remaining stretch of undeveloped barrier island on the central New Jersey coast.

Mrs Henry Phipps and Her Grandson Winston, oil on canvas, John Singer Sargent, 1907

Henry Phipps was one of the pioneer investors in Florida real estate. At one time, he and his family owned one-third of the town of Palm Beach, 28 miles (approximately 45 kilometers) of oceanfront between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, prime bay front property in downtown Miami, and 29,653 acres (approximately 12,000 hectares) of land in Martin County. The Phipps family donated to the town of Palm Beach one of the most significant gifts in county history: an ocean-to-lake frontage property that is now known as Phipps Park.

Henry Phipps died in Great Neck, New York on September 22, 1930.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Klepper, Michael; Gunther, Michael (1996), The Wealthy 100: From Benjamin Franklin to Bill Gates—A Ranking of the Richest Americans, Past and Present, Secaucus, New Jersey: Carol Publishing Group, p. xiii, ISBN 978-0-8065-1800-8, OCLC 33818143 
  2. ^ The Philanthropy Hall of Fame, Henry Phipps Jr.
  3. ^ Community Development | PCDC | About. www.phippsny.org
  4. ^ "Henry Phipps Dead. Pioneer In Steel. Former Partner Of Carnegie, Who Amassed $100,000,000, Succumbs At 90. Gave $7,000,000 To Charity. Began Career As Messenger Boy. Divided Much Of Estate Among Three Sons In 1912. Gave More Than $7,000,000 To Charity. An Office Boy With Carnegie. Built Fifth Avenue Mansion. Financed Model Tenements". New York Times. September 23, 1930. Retrieved 2010-03-29. Henry Phipps, capitalist and philanthropist, who rose from office boy to master of a $100,000,000 fortune, died yesterday at his estate, Bonnie Brink, in the Lakeville section of Great Neck, L.I., at the age of 90. On Saturday he would have been 91 years old. Mr. Phipps had retired ... 

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