Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Schiff, Jacob Henry

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SCHIFF, JACOB HENRY, an American financier and philanthropist, born at Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany, in 1847. He was educated in the schools of Frankfort-on-the-Main, and in 1865 he moved to the United States, where, after having achieved success in the banking business, he organized the firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., which became one of the most important financial institutions in the United States and financed many important enterprises, especially the construction of railroads. Mr. Schiff later became a director of many large financial and industrial companies. His work as a philanthropist was done chiefly in connection with Jewish organizations, but he also gave liberally to other causes. He was vice-president and trustee of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, a director of the New York Foundation, of the National Employment Exchange, and a vice-president of the New York Chamber of Commerce. He was the founder of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York; and of the Semitic Museum at Harvard. He also contributed $100,000 for a Technical College at Hafia, Palestine. He was actively concerned with the improvement of civic conditions in New York, and was a leading member of the “Committee of 70,” which secured the overthrow of the Tweed Ring. He did much toward the development of Jewish enterprises in Palestine and other countries. He died in 1920.

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