George Fisher Baker

Baker, George Fisher, 1840–1931, American financier and philanthropist, b. Troy, N.Y. Baker was one of the founders of the First National Bank of New York in 1863 and became (1877) its president and then (1909) chairman of its board of directors. Largely through his efforts this bank became one of the strongest financial institutions in the United States. Baker was closely associated with the interests of the house of Morgan; he helped finance James J. Hill in building his railroad empire and backed him in the fight to control the Northern Pacific RR. Baker himself became a leading figure in the world of railroad organization and finance and gained a commanding influence in insurance, utilities, and the steel and rubber industries. His philanthropic bequests were many. The most notable were $6 million to found and support the Harvard graduate school of business administration; $2 million to Cornell; $1 million to build the main library at Dartmouth; and money for the athletic field at Columbia.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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