Bernard Baruch

From Metapedia

Jump to: navigation, search
This section or article contains text from Wikipedia which has not yet been processed. It is thus likely to contain material which does not comply with the Metapedia guide lines. You can help Metapedia by editing the article and cleaning it from bias and inappropriate wordings.
Bernard Baruch
Born August 19, 1870(1870-08-19)
Camden, South Carolina
Died June 20, 1965 (aged 94)
New York City, New York
Nationality American
Alma mater City College of New York
Occupation Speculator
Awards Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga Race Course

Bernard Mannes Baruch (August 19, 1870June 20, 1965) was a Jewish-American financier, stock-market speculator, and power broker. After his success in business, he devoted his time toward advising U.S. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt on economic matters and became a philanthropist.


Early life and education

Bernard Baruch was born in Camden, South Carolina to Simon and Belle Baruch. He was the second of four sons. His father Simon Baruch (1840–1921) was a German immigrant of Jewish ethnicity who came with his family to the United States in 1855. He studied medicine, became a doctor, and served as a surgeon on the staff of Confederate general Robert E. Lee during the American Civil War. He was a pioneer in physical therapy.[1] His mother's Sephardic Jewish ancestors (likely from Amsterdam or London) came to New York as early as the 1690s, where they became part of the shipping business.

In 1881 the family moved from Camden to New York City, where Bernard and his brothers attended local schools. He studied at and graduated from the City College of New York.


Baruch became a broker and then a partner in A.A. Housman & Company. With his earnings and commissions, he bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange for $18,000 ($434,000 in today's dollars). There he amassed a fortune before the age of 30 via speculation in the sugar market. By 1903 Baruch had his own brokerage firm and gained the reputation of "The Lone Wolf on Wall Street" because of his refusal to join any financial house. By 1910, he had become one of Wall Street's best-known financiers.

In 1925 he endowed the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) Mrs. Simon Baruch University Award in memory of his mother, to support scholars who have written unpublished monographs for full-length books on Confederate history. His mother had been an early member of the organization and supported their activities.

Presidential adviser: First World War

In 1913, he and Wilson's other advisor Stephen Wise, got him to start the Federal Reserve System.

In 1916, Baruch left Wall Street to advise president Woodrow Wilson on national defense. He served on the Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense and, in 1918, became the chairman of the new War Industries Board. With his leadership, this body successfully managed the US's economic mobilization during World War I. In 1919, Wilson asked Baruch to serve as a staff member at the Paris Peace Conference. Baruch did not approve of the reparations France and Britain demanded of Germany, and supported Wilson's view that there needed to be new forms of cooperation between nations, and supporting the creation of the League of Nations.[2]

In the 1920s and 30s, Baruch expressed his concern that the United States needed to be prepared for the possibility of another world war. He wanted a more powerful version of the War Industries Board, which he saw as the only way to ensure maximum coordination between civilian business and military needs.[3] Baruch remained a prominent government adviser during this time, and supported Franklin D. Roosevelt's domestic and foreign policy initiatives after his election.

During President Roosevelt's "New Deal" program, Baruch was a member of the "Brain Trust" and helped form the National Recovery Administration (NRA).

Presidential adviser: Second World War

Winston Churchill with Bernard Baruch.

When the United States entered World War II, President Roosevelt appointed Baruch a special adviser to the director of the Office of War Mobilization. He supported what was known as a "work or fight" bill. Baruch advocated the creation of a permanent superagency similar to his old Industries Board. His theory enhanced the role of civilian businessmen and industrialists in determining what was needed and who would produce it.[4] Baruch's ideas were largely adopted, with James Byrnes appointed to carry them out. During the war Baruch remained a trusted adviser and confidant of President Roosevelt, who in 1944 spent a month as a guest at Baruch's South Carolina estate.

In 1946 President Harry S. Truman appointed Baruch as the United States representative to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC). On Friday, June 14, 1946, Baruch presented his Baruch Plan, a modified version of the Acheson–Lilienthal plan, to the UNAEC, which proposed international control of then-new atomic energy. The Soviet Union rejected Baruch's proposal as unfair given the fact that the U.S. already had nuclear weapons; it proposed that the U.S. eliminate its nuclear weapons before a system of controls and inspections was implemented. A stalemate ensued.

Baruch resigned from the commission in 1947. His influence began to diminish, as he grew further out of step with the views of the Truman administration.[5]

Park bench statesman

Baruch was well-known, and often walked or sat in Washington, D.C's Lafayette Park and in New York City's Central Park. It was not uncommon for him to discuss government affairs with other people while sitting on a park bench: he became known for this.

In 1960, on his ninetieth birthday, a commemorative park bench in Lafayette Park across from the White House was dedicated to him[6][7] by the Boy Scouts.[8]

He continued to advise on international affairs until his death on June 20, 1965, in New York City, at the age of ninety-four. His grave is at Flushing Cemetery, Flushing, Queens, New York City, USA.

Favorite book

A favorite book of Bernard Baruch was Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, by Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. It was also a favorite book of his best friend, Jesse Lauriston Livermore, also known as the Boy Plunger.

Thoroughbred racing

Bernard Baruch owned a string of Thoroughbred racehorses and raced under the name, Kershaw Stable. In 1927 his horse, Happy Argo, won the Carter Handicap.

Legacy and honors


  1. Blum, Nava.(2006). "The Development of PM&R in the USA", in ha -Shikum asah historia: maarakhot shikum refui be Yisrael 1940–1956.(Tsefat), pp. 25–26.
  2. Leab, Daniel et al., ed. "The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Thematic Encyclopedia." ABC-CLIO LLC., 2010, p. 11.
  3. Leab, Daniel et al., ed. The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Thematic Encyclopedia ABC-CLIO Inc., 2010, p. 11.
  4. Baruch, The Public Years, 321–28; Kerry E. Irish, "Apt Pupil: Dwight Eisenhower and the 1930 Industrial Mobilization Plan", The Journal of Military History 70.1 (2006) 31–61.
  5. Leab, Daniel et al., ed. The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Thematic Encyclopedia ABC-CLIO LLC., 2010, p. 12.
  6. Baruch Bench of Inspiration. (1960-08-16). Retrieved on 2011-04-16.
  7. President's Park (White House) - Explore the Northern Trail (U.S. National Park Service). Retrieved on 2011-04-16.
  8. Secret Washington: Where to go to get away from the crowds. (2010-05-22). Retrieved on 2011-04-16.


Primary sources

  • Bernard M. Baruch Baruch: My Own Story (1957) two volumes. ISBN 1-56849-095-X
  • Bernard M. Baruch; The Making of the Reparation and Economic Sections of the Treaty 1920.
  • Bernard M. Baruch; American Industry in War: A Report of the War Industries Board (March 1921) ed by Richard H. Hippelheuser; 1941.

Scholarly secondary sources

  • Coit, Margaret L. (2000). Mr. Baruch. Washington, D.C.: BeardBooks. ISBN 1587980215. 
  • Cooper, Mary H.; Marshall, Patrick (2007). "Nuclear Proliferation and Terrorism", Global Issues: Selections from CQ Researcher. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. ISBN 087289410X. 
  • Field, Carter (1944). Bernard Baruch, Park Bench Statesman. New York: McGraw-Hill. 
  • Grant, James L. (1997). Bernard M. Baruch: The Adventures of a Wall Street Legend. New York: Wiley. ISBN 0471170755. 
  • Irish, Kerry E. (2006). "Apt Pupil: Dwight Eisenhower and the 1930 Industrial Mobilization Plan". The Journal of Military History 70 (1): 31–61. doi:10.1353/jmh.2006.0051. Eisenhower worked closely with Baruch in 1930.
  • Schwartz, Jordan A. (1981). The Speculator: Bernard M. Baruch in Washington, 1917–1965. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0807813966. 
  • White, William Lindsay (1971). Bernard Baruch: Portrait of a Citizen. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0837133483. 
  • Leab, Daniel; Kenneth J. Bindas, Alan Harris Stein, Justin Corfield, and Steven L. Danver, ed. (2010). The Great Depression and the New Deal, Volume 1. Sanata Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 11–12. ISBN 9781598841541. 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Eleftherios Venizelos
Cover of Time magazine
25 February 1924
Succeeded by
Reginald McKenna
Preceded by
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk
Cover of Time magazine
12 March 1928
Succeeded by
Robert Dollar
Preceded by
Benito Mussolini
Cover of Time magazine
28 June 1943
Succeeded by
Aleksandr Vasilevsky
Personal tools
In other languages