Shelby Cullom Davis
Shelby Cullom Davis
|United States Ambassador to Switzerland|
July 17, 1969 – April 10, 1975
|Preceded by||John S. Hayes|
|Succeeded by||Peter H. Dominick|
|Born||April 1, 1909|
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||May 26, 1994 (aged 85)|
Hobe Sound, Florida, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Kathryn Wasserman Davis (1932-1994, his death)|
|Children||Shelby Davis, Diana Cullom Davis Spencer, Priscilla Alden Davis|
|Alma mater||The Lawrenceville School|
Graduate Institute of International Studies
|Occupation||Businessman, investor, philanthropist|
Shelby Cullom Davis (April 1, 1909 – May 26, 1994) was an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist from the state of New York. In 1947 he created Shelby Cullom Davis & Company, which became a leading investment firm. He later served as the American Ambassador to Switzerland under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Originally from Peoria, Illinois, Davis' uncle was Shelby Moore Cullom, who served in the U.S Senate for 30 years and introduced the legislation to create the Interstate Commerce Commission.
After graduating from The Lawrenceville School in 1926, he matriculated to Princeton University, graduating in 1930 and earned a master's degree at Columbia University in 1931. He earned a doctorate in political science at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, in 1934. His dissertation was about military personnel in Africa (Reservoirs of men, a history of the black troops of French West Africa).
Thomas E. Dewey
Shelby joined the staff of District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey as an economist and research assistant. He advised Dewey during his presidential runs in 1940 and 1944 and was later appointed by then-New York Governor Dewey as First Deputy Superintendent of Insurance from 1944 to 1947.
Prior to his government service, Shelby had worked as a European correspondent for CBS Radio in Geneva. In 1941 he became a member of the New York Stock Exchange. 6 years later, with an investment of $100,000 he founded and headed Shelby Cullom Davis & Company, an investment firm, specializing in insurance securities. At the time of his death Shelby served as chairman. His son, Shelby Davis, formed Davis Selected Advisers in 1969 and by the 1980s had made the cut for Forbes Magazine's richest 400 Americans.
Davis died at his home in Hobe Sound, Florida, aged 85, following a brief illness. He was survived by his wife of 44 years, Kathryn Wasserman Davis; two children Shelby M. C., of Manhattan; a daughter, Diana D. Spencer and eight grandchildren.
He provided significant financial support to Princeton University (his alma mater) and also funded chairs at Wellesley College, and professorships of free enterprise at Wellesley and at the Cullom - Davis Library at Bradley University. A Professorship of International Security Studies at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy was also instituted in his name. He also provided support to the Library and Museum of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in NYC. His generous support of the Society of Colonial Wars is recognized in part through the Shelby Cullom Davis Lecture. In December 2013 it was announced that through his charitable fund a $10 million donation was made to Colby College, Waterville, Maine.
The use of funds meant to endow the Shelby Cullom professorship at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut led in part to the resignation of that college's president James Jones, as well as media attention to the donor intent issue.
Davis was chairman and treasurer of an eponymous, conservative think tank, the Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation, at the time of his death. He was also affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, The Mayflower Society, Sons of the Revolution, The Society of the Cincinnati and was an officer of The Huguenot Society of America.
- "Davis Family Recognition Ceremony". The Heritage Foundation. Oct 9, 2013. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved Jan 7, 2017.
- Pfaltzgraff, Robert L.; Shultz, Richard H. (2013). "International Security Studies: Looking Back and Moving Ahead" (PDF). The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs. The Fletcher School of Law and Dioplomacy. 37 (3): 95–109. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-02-21. Retrieved Jan 20, 2014.
- Scardina, Jesse (Dec 5, 2013). "$10 million gift to help fund Colby College science building". CentralMaine.com. Retrieved Jan 7, 2017.
- "Shelby Cullom Davis Center | Department of History". history.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2020-06-11.
- "Another Cautionary Tale: The Shelby Cullom Davis Professorship of American Business and Economic Enterprise at Trinity College" in Neal, Anne D., and Michael B. Poliakoff, The Intelligent Donor's Guide to College Giving (American Council of Trustees and Alumni, March 2011) available at https://www.goacta.org/images/download/intelligent_donors_guide.pdf
- Wooster, Martin Morse, "Games Universities Play: And How Donors Can Avoid Them", John Williams Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, September, 2011 available at https://www.jamesgmartin.center/acrobat/pope_articles/donor_wooster_report_finalfpo.pdf