Phipps family

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The Phipps family of the United States is a prominent American family that descends from Henry Phipps Jr. (1839–1930), a businessman and philanthropist. His father was an English shoemaker who immigrated in the early part of the 19th century to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before settling in Pittsburgh. Phipps grew up with Andrew Carnegie as a friend and neighbor. As an adult, he was Carnegie's business partner in the Carnegie Steel Company and became a very wealthy man. He was the company's second-largest shareholder and also invested in real estate.

After selling his stock in Carnegie Steel, Phipps became a leading advocate of housing for the poor and a major philanthropist. He embraced the principle that those who have achieved great wealth should give back for the public good and create institutions dedicated to that purpose. Phipps and his wife Anne had five children: Amy, John S., Helen, Henry Carnegie, and Howard.

Business activities[edit]

In 1907, Phipps established the Bessemer Trust Company to manage his substantial assets that would be shared by his offspring following his death. Phipps was also 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 of oceanfront between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, prime bayfront property in downtown Miami, and 75 square miles 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. Another contribution was the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh.

The Phipps family owned country estates in Old Westbury, New York, on the Gold Coast, the stretch of land on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America.


By 1974, Bessemer Trust Company developed an expertise in wealth management that allowed it to take on other clients through the creation of a national bank headquartered in New York City. Phipps' grandchildren, from his son John S. Phipps, donated to the public the Westbury House estate that is now known as Old Westbury Gardens.

Gladys Mills Phipps, granddaughter of Darius Ogden Mills and wife of Henry Carnegie Phipps, was prominent among horse breeders and owners in American Thoroughbred horse racing, as were her son, daughters and several grandchildren and great-grandchilden. She founded Wheatley Stable with her brother, Odgen Livingston Mills. Recently, first cousins Odgen Mills (Dinny) Phipps and Stewart Janney III's horse "Orb" won the 2013 Kentucky Derby.


Family members include:

Family tree[edit]

See also[edit]



  • Boegner, Peggie Phipps; Gachot, Richard (1987). Halcyon Days: An American Family Through Three Generations. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ISBN 0-8109-1064-0. (daughter of John Shaffer Phipps)
  • Phipps Family Papers in America, 630 5th Ave, New York, NY 10111: Bessemer Trust Co.
  • "Love of horses helped to build a dynasty", The Sydney Morning Herald (April 30, 2002)