Bernard Baruch: Wikis


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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 (pronounced /bəˈruːk/; August 19, 1870 – June 20, 1965) was an American financier, stock-market speculator, statesman, and political consultant. After his success in business, he devoted his time toward advising Democratic U.S. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt on economic matters.


Early life, education, and career

Bernard Baruch was born in Camden, South Carolina to Simon and Belle Baruch. He was the second of four sons. His father Dr. Simon Baruch (1840–1921) was a German immigrant of Jewish ethnicity who came to the United States in 1855. He became a surgeon on the staff of Confederate general Robert E. Lee during the American Civil War and a pioneer in physical therapy.[1] His mother's Sephardic Jewish ancestors came to New York as early as the 1690s and were in the shipping business. In 1881 the family moved to New York City, and Bernard Baruch graduated from the City College of New York eight years later. He eventually became a broker and then a partner in A. A. Housman and Company. With his earnings and commissions he bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange for $18,000 ($425000 in today's dollars). There he amassed a fortune before the age of thirty via speculation in the sugar market. 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 financial house. By 1910, he had become one of Wall Street's best known financiers. Baruch College (part of the City University of New York) was named after him as well as a residential building on the Stony Brook University campus.

Presidential Adviser: First World War

During World War I he advised President Woodrow Wilson on national defense, during which time he became the chairman of the War Industries Board. (His stenographer was the then-unknown teenager Billy Rose). Baruch played a major role in turning American industry to full-scale war production. At the war's conclusion, he was seen with President Wilson at the Versailles Peace Conference. He never competed for elective office. He supported numerous Democratic congressmen with $1000 annual campaign donations, and became a popular figure on Capitol Hill. Every election season he would contribute from $100 to $1000 to numerous Democratic candidates.

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

Other Accomplishments

Baruch was instrumental in starting the Council on Foreign Relations along with the Rockefellers, Morgans, and Warburgs.

Presidential Adviser: Second World War

Sir Winston Churchill, British statesman, and Bernard Baruch, financier, converse in the back seat of a car in front of Baruch's home.

During World War II he was a consultant on economic issues and proposed a number of measures including:

Baruch argued that in modern warfare there was little use for free enterprise. He said Washington should control all aspects of the economy and that both business and unions should be subservient to the nation's security interest. Furthermore, price controls were essential to prevent inflation and to maximize military power per dollar. He wanted labor to be organized to facilitate optimum production. Baruch believed labor should be cajoled, coerced, and controlled as necessary: a central government agency would orchestrate the allocation of labor. 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.[2] Baruch's ideas were largely adopted, with James Byrnes appointed to carry them out. During the war Baruch remained a trusted advisor and confidant of President Roosevelt, and the President spent an entire month as a guest at Baruch's South Carolina estate, in 1944.

In 1946 he was appointed the United States representative to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC) by President Harry S. Truman. As a member of the newly created UNAEC, Baruch suggested the elimination of nuclear weapons after implementation of a system of international controls, inspections, and punishment for violations.

On Friday, June 14, 1946, Baruch - widely seen by many scientists and some members of Truman's administration as unqualified for the task - 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, instead proposing that the U.S. eliminate its nuclear weapons before a system of controls and inspections was implemented. A stalemate ensued.

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. He continued to advise on international affairs until his death on Sunday, June 20, 1965, in New York City, at the age of ninety-four.

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. The Saratoga Race Course named the Bernard Baruch Handicap in his honor.


Bernard Baruch is oft-remembered for his many thoughtful and humorous quotations, many of which are usually misattributed.

Mr. Baruch was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1997.


  • Baruch's faith helped him make his fortune. During his Wall Street days, Baruch sold short, to the limit of his resources, a stock he believed to be overvalued. He expected a quick profit on the next business day, believing the directors would not declare the regular dividend since the company could not afford it. He knew, however, that if the directors bluffed and declared a dividend, the stock could rise, and he would have to cover instantly or lose everything. The day before the dividend declaration day, his mother reminded him that the next day was the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, and he had promised to maintain the solemnity of the annual occasion and "keep" the holiday holy. Keeping his promise, Baruch ignored the multiple phone calls and telegrams from his friends who urged him to take his profit and cover. After Yom Kippur had passed, he read the telegrams and learned that, indeed, the dividend had passed. Rather than rising as a result, however, the stock had fallen precipitiously.

Keeping his promise, he had become a millionaire.[3]

  • In his teenage and college years, Baruch was quite good at sports, especially baseball and there was the possibility of his playing baseball professionally. But during a game for City College, he suffered an ear injury that impaired his hearing, taking away any possibility of playing in the majors[4]
  • His winter residence was his 17,500 acres (71 km2) Hobcaw Barony on the coast of South Carolina, which he purchased between 1905 and 1910. At Hobcaw House he was host to such world leaders as Winston Churchill. Other guests included General Pershing and Edith Bolling Wilson wife of Woodrow Wilson.
  • In 1931, Sir Winston Churchill was hit by a taxi, while on his way to meet Bernard Baruch.
  • He made a $50,000 contribution to Woodrow Wilson's 1912 presidential campaign.
  • Upon appointment to his first post by Woodrow Wilson, he divested his considerable financial holdings and sold his New York Stock Exchange seat to serve in government unencumbered.
  • Baruch endured days of grilling from Alger Hiss, Counsel for the Senate Munitions Committee (the Nye Committee), answering innuendos about personal finances and wartime profiteering.
  • Bernard Baruch was the first to use the term "Cold War" in reference to the rivalry between United States and the Soviet Union while giving a speech on April 16, 1947. By September 1947 it was used by journalist Walter Lippmann and became famous. See Origins of the Cold War on more information about the origin of the term.
  • Baruch owned a tungsten (wolfram) mining community named Atolia in California's Mojave Desert. During the years 1906 to 1926, Baruch spent one month a year at Atolia. The once thriving community of 4,000 individuals became deserted when, after World War I, tungsten was no longer considered a strategic material, and lower-cost sources were developed.
  • Secretary of Defense James Forrestal had this diary entry about a lunch meeting with Baruch on February 3, 1948: "He took the line of advising me not to be active in this particular matter and that I was already identified, to a degree that was not in my own interests, with opposition to the United Nations' policy on Palestine. He said he himself did not approve of the Zionists' actions, but in the next breath said that the Democratic party could only lose by trying to get our government’s policy reversed, and said that it was a most inequitable thing to let the British arm the Arabs and for us not to furnish similar equipment to the Jews."[5]
  • The 1949 Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies cartoon Rebel Rabbit features a scene in which Bugs Bunny uses paint to vandalize a park bench, changing it from "Barney Baruch's Private Bench" to "Bugs Bunny's Private Bench".
  • Baruch College, in Manhattan, New York has a statue of Bernard Baruch sitting on a bench inside of its entrance center. This statue is often mistaken for a real person.
  • He was on the cover of Time magazine three times in his life.
  • "In Wall Street it is always ba-rook', but his friends say bahr'ook [with the stress on the first syllable]." (Charles Earle Funk, What's the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936.)
  • Mentioned in the musical Annie by Oliver Warbucks in Act 1 Scene 5



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, DC: BeardBooks. ISBN 1587980215.  
  • Cooper, Mary H.; Marshall, Patrick (2007). "Nuclear Proliferation and Terrorism". Global Issues: Selections from CQ Researcher. Washington, DC: 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.  


  1. ^ Blum, Nava.(2006). "The Development of PM&R in the USA" in the book: ha -Shikum asah historia: maarakhot shikum refui be Yisrael 1940–1956.(Tsefat)pp. 25–26.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ The book "Pinchhitter for Presidents" by Beverly Smith, cited in Reader's Digest April 1947 pg. 75.
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Forrestal Diaries, Walter Millis, editor, 1951, p. 364.) Correspondence from Baruch to his friend, Forrestal, can be found in the Forrestal papers collection at Princeton for every year from 1940 to Forrestal's death in 1949. [1]

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Eleutherios Venizelos
Cover of Time Magazine
25 February 1924
Succeeded by
Reginald McKenna


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.

Bernard Mannes Baruch (19 August 187020 June 1965) was an American financier, stock market speculator, statesman, and presidential advisor. After his success in business, he devoted his time toward advising Democratic presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt on economic matters.


  • America has never forgotten — and never will forget — the nobler things that brought her into being and that light her path — the path that was entered upon only one hundred and fifty years ago ... How young she is! It will be centuries before she will adopt that maturity of custom — the clothing of the grave — that some people believe she is already fitted for.
    • Address on accepting The Churchman Award, New York (23 May 1944)
  • Behind the black portent of the new atomic age lies a hope which, seized upon with faith, can work out salvation ... Let us not deceive ourselves: we must elect world peace or world destruction.
    • Address to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (14 June 1946)
  • Peace is never long preserved by weight of metal or by an armament race. Peace can be made tranquil and secure only by understanding and agreement fortified by sanctions. We must embrace international cooperation or international disintegration. Science has taught us how to put the atom to work. But to make it work for good instead of for evil lies in the domain dealing with the principles of human dignity. We are now facing a problem more of ethics than of physics.
    • Address to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (14 June 1946)
  • Let us not be deceived — we are today in the midst of a cold war. Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this: Our unrest is the heart of their success. The peace of the world is the hope and the goal of our political system; it is the despair and defeat of those who stand against us.
    • Speech to the South Carolina Legislature, Columbia, SC (16 April 1947)
    • He said that the phrase "cold war" was suggested to him by H. B. Swope, editor of the New York World; the term had earlier been used by George Orwell (1945).
  • Although the shooting war is over, we are in the midst of a cold war which is getting warmer.
    • Speech before the Senate’s Special Committee Investigating the National Defense Program (1948)
  • Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.
    • Often quoted response to Igor Cassini, a popular society columnist for the New York Journal American, when asked how he handled the seating arrangements for all those who attended his dinner parties, as quoted in Shake Well Before Using: A New Collection of Impressions and Anecdotes Mostly Humorous (1948) by Bennett Cerf, p. 249; the full response was "I never bother about that. Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." This anecdote is also quoted online at and has also become part of a larger expression, which has been commonly attributed to Dr. Seuss, even in print, but without citation of a specific work : "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
  • There are no such things as incurable, there are only things for which man has not found a cure.
    • Speech (30 April 1954)
  • To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am.
    • On his 85th birthday, as quoted in The Observer [London] (21 August 1955)
  • I am quite sure that in the hereafter she will take me by the hand and lead me to my proper seat.
    • Regarding a childhood teacher, as quoted in News summaries (29 August 1955)
  • I am interested in physical medicine because my father was. I am interested in medical research because I believe in it. I am interested in arthritis because I have it.
    • As quoted in The New York Post (1 May 1959)
  • Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing.
    • As quoted in Meyer Berger’s New York (1960)
  • A political leader must keep looking over his shoulder all the time to see if the boys are still there. If they aren’t still there, he’s no longer a political leader.
    • As quoted in his obituary, New York Times (21 June 1965)
  • I'm not smart. I try to observe. Millions saw the apple fall but Newton was the one who asked why.
    • New York Post (24 June 1965)
  • Anyone taken as an individual is tolerably a member of a crowd, he at once becomes a blockhead (originally a quote from the poet Schiller, and quoted by Baruch in his Foreword to the 1932 version of "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay, LL.D. (originally published in 1841)).

Debated or Misattributed

  • When asked what the market would do, replied It will fluctuate
    Widely attributed to Baruch, this quote actually originated with J. P. Morgan.

External links

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