The Life of Eugene Meyer and his Path to Wealth

On October 31 in the year 1875, the man who found wealth in finance and publishing was born in California, United States. His name was Eugene Isaac Meyer, the founder of Eugene Meyer Jr. and Co. and publisher of Washington Post.

Eugene Meyer
Eugene Meyer (Credit:

Eugene Meyer was one of 8 children of a Jewish immigrant who became a partner in one of the great names in finance, Lazard Freres and Company. Eugene obtained his bachelor’s degree from Yale University. He followed the footsteps of his father by working at Lazard after college graduation. After accumulating his own capital in addition to a $600 gift from his father for not smoking until age 21, he set up his eponymous company in 1901. To keep up with the competition, he opened a research department, the first stock brokerage firm to do so. At the onset of the First World War, he was one of the richest men in the United States.

Eugene Meyer went on to form the Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation together with William H. Nichols. In 1927, he was appointed as chairman of the Federal Farm Loan Board. Later, he was promoted to chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, a position he held until 1933. After leaving the government, he purchased the bankrupt Washington Post. Under his management, the newspaper became one of the leading city publications in America. After World War II, he was selected as the first president of the World Bank.

Eugene Meyer died in 1959 at the age of 83. He had five children with his wife Agnes. One of his daughters, Katherine Graham would later succeed him and make a name for herself as publisher of Washington Post.


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