Morris Ketchum Jesup - Encyclopedia


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MORRIS KETCHUM JESUP (1830-1908), American banker and philanthropist, was born at Westport, Connecticut, on the 21 st of June 1830. In 1842 he went to New York City, where after some experience in business he established a banking house in 1852. In 1856 he organized the banking firm of M. K. Jesup & Company, which after two reorganizations became Cuyler, Morgan & Jesup. He became widely known as a financier, retiring from active business in 1884. He was best known, however, as a munificent patron of scientific research, a large contributor to the needs of education, and a public-spirited citizen of wide interests, who did much for the betterment of social conditions in New York. He contributed largely to the funds for the Arctic expeditions of Commander Robert E. Peary, becoming president of the Peary Arctic Club in 1899. To the American museum of natural history, in New York City, he gave large sums in his lifetime and bequeathed $1,000,000. He was president of the New York chamber of commerce from 1899 until 1907, and was the largest subscriber to its new building. To his native town he gave a fine public library. He died in New York City on the 22nd of January 1908.

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