ALUMNI OF THE ENGLISH HIGH SCHOOL
No school has had a more loyal or notable body of alumni than ours. Many members of the Association have made outstanding contributions to their communities, the state and nation in peace and war. Here we put a spotlight on just a few of them.
J.P. Morgan, Class of 1854
J.P. Morgan became one of the wealthiest and most powerful businessmen in the world through his founding of private banks and industrial consolidation in the late 1800’s. Born into the Aetna Insurance Co. family, (J.P.’s paternal grandfather), Pierpont, as he preferred to be called, suffered from seizures and other mysterious ailments as a child. Junius Spencer Morgan, J.P.’s father, wished for his son to receive an education worthy of preparing him for a career in commerce. At his fathers urging, in 1851 J.P. took and passed the EHS entrance exam. Developing a case of rheumatic fever caused J.P. to take a year long convalescence, after which he returned to English High and graduated. Following his high school education, J.P. then attended Göttingen University in Germany.
1854: Graduated from The English High School of Boston
1858: Moved to NY worked for Duncan, Sherman & Co. before joining his father’s firm, J. Pierpont Morgan & Company.
1864-1872: Worked at Dabney, Morgan, & Co.
1871: Formed partnership of Drexel, Morgan & Co.
1882: The house at 219 Madison Ave was purchased by Morgan. It was the first electrically lit private home in NY.
1889: The 1000 piece gem collection Morgan had amassed was exhibited at the World's Fair in Paris.
1892: Arranged merger of Edison General Electric & Thomson-Houston Electric to form General Electric. During the post depression time, in order to prevent a Treasury crisis, Morgan provided financial assistance to the U.S. government.
1893: J.P. Morgan is primary financier of U.S. railroads.
1895: Drexel, Morgan & Co. was reorganized as J.P. Morgan & Co which became one of the most powerful commercial and investment banking institution in the world.
1901: By buying out industrialist Andrew Carnegie the world’s first billion-dollar corporation was created combining 33 companies known as United States Steel.
1903: J.P. Morgan was selected by the U.S. Treasury Secretary to facilitate the largest real estate deal of the time. He acted as fiscal agent and transferred $40 million from the U.S. government to the French Panama Canal Co.
1906: J.P. Morgan was essential in the creation of U.S. Steel, GE and AT&T.
1907: Morgan rescues the NY Stock Exchange, saves a brokerage house from insolvency and several trust companies and bails out NYC. He acquired control of many insurance companies and banks in the process.
1912: Morgan was scheduled to travel on the ill-fated maiden voyage of the Titanic. A last minute decision to remain at a resort in France saved his life.
1913: Morgan died in Rome, Italy. He was 75. Flags on Wall Street flew at half-staff and the stock market closed for two hours when his body passed through New York City. His estate was worth $68.3 million. The value of his art collection was estimated at $50 million.
“The wise man bridges the gap by laying out the path by means of which he can get from where he is to where he wants to go.’’’