Bernard Mannes Baruch (August 19, 1870 – June 20, 1965) was an American financier and presidential adviser. On April 16, 1947 Baruch coined the term “Cold War” to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Bernard Baruch advised American presidents on economic matters for over 40 years. These ranged from Woodrow Wilson to John F. Kennedy and in his later years Baruch was highly regarded as an elder statesman. He was described as a man of immense charm who enjoyed a larger-than-life reputation that matched his considerable fortune.
Bernard Baruch was born in Camden, South Carolina on Friday August 19, 1870 to Simon and Belle Baruch, the second of four sons, his father was a German immigrant who came to America in 1855 to avoid conscription in the Prussian army and became a field surgeon on the staff of Robert E. Lee for the Confederate army during the Civil War.
In 1881 the family moved to New York City and in 1889 he graduated from the City College of New York. His first job was as an office boy earning $3.00 a week.
He eventually became a broker and then a partner in the firm of A. Housman and Company. With his earnings and commissions he was eventually able to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
He amassed a fortune in stock market speculation before the age of 30.
In 1903 he had his own brokerage firm and gained the reputation of “The Lone Wolf on Wall Street” because of his refusal to join any other financial house.
By 1910 he had become one of Wall Street’s financial leaders.
During World War I he advised President Woodrow Wilson on national defense and in 1918 he became the chairman of the War Industries Board.
After the war he was with President Wilson at the Versailles Peace Conference.
He was a member of the “Brain Trust” in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal”
As the “Storm Clouds” of World War II approached he proposed a number of economic measures including:
A pay-as-you-go tax plan
Stockpiling of Rubber and Tin
A synthetic Rubber program
After the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor he was called upon by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to help with the United States war effort.
He was offered the post of Treasury Secretary by President Franklin Roosevelt but he declined in favor of remaining in the role of an unofficial adviser.
In 1946 he was appointed the United States representative to the United Nations Energy Commission by President Harry S. Truman. On Friday June 14, 1946 he Presented the Baruch Plan to the UNAEC. This plan proposed international control of Atomic Energy.
He was an adviser on international issues until his death on Sunday June 20, 1965 in New York City at the age of 94.
His grave is at Flushing Cemetery , Flushing, Queens County, New York, USA
Latitude (40.7522) Longitude (-73.7994)
Park Bench Statesman
Baruch was a high profile public figure and did his best thinking in the parks of Washington D.C (Lafayette Park) and in New York City (Central Park). He could always be seen discussing government affairs with other people while sitting on a park bench, this became his trademark. It was said that his office was a park bench near the White House.
In 1960 on his 90’th birthday a commemorative park bench in Lafayette park across from the White House was dedicated to him.
His Winter residence was his 17,500 acre (70 km²) Hobcaw Barony on the Coast of South Carolina which was turned into a wildlife refuge after his death. At Hobcaw house he hosted world leaders such as Winston Churchill and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who visited for a month in 1944 and other guests such as World War I General “Blackjack” Pershing and Mrs Woodrow Wilson.
Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it
Why look for conspiracy when stupidity can explain so much