Bernard Baruch, born in 1870, was a prominent financier, politician, and economic advisor. Starting his career on Wall Street, Baruch quickly rose to financial success, later leading the War Industries Board during WWI.
Post-war, he served as an economic advisor to several presidents, playing a key role in negotiating the Treaty of Versailles.
During WWII, Baruch was part of President Roosevelt’s ‘Brain Trust,’ shaping crucial wartime and post-war policies.
After the war, he presented the Baruch Plan to the UN, advocating for international control of atomic energy. Baruch, who passed away in 1965, is remembered as a significant figure in American economic and political history.
Bernard Baruch Quotes
“Never follow the crowd.”
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Early Years: Rise to Financial Success
Born on August 19, 1870, in Camden, South Carolina, Bernard Baruch was the son of a physician. After completing his degree at the College of the City of New York, Baruch started his career as a runner on Wall Street at the age of 19. His adept understanding of the financial market helped him rise to become a prosperous financier, amassing a considerable fortune by the time he was 30.
World War I: The Advisory Role in the War Industries Board
As World War I raged, Baruch was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1918 to lead the War Industries Board, an organization responsible for coordinating the purchase of war supplies. His effective management earned him a reputation as a skilled administrator and economist, able to balance large scale logistics and economic considerations.
Post-War Era: Public Servant and Economic Advisor
In the post-war period, Baruch became known as an advisor to presidents. He played a significant role in the U.S. delegation during the negotiation of the Treaty of Versailles, offering his expertise on economic matters.
Baruch remained an influential figure in American politics during the interwar period. He served as an advisor to several presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, on a range of economic and foreign policy issues.
World War II: The Brain Trust of Roosevelt
Baruch’s influential position continued into World War II. His economic insight and wartime experience made him a valuable asset to President Roosevelt. He was a part of Roosevelt’s unofficial ‘Brain Trust’ and was instrumental in shaping policies during the war and in the post-war economic recovery.
Later Life: Advocate for Nuclear Disarmament
After World War II, Baruch continued his advisory roles, most notably presenting the U.S. plan for international control of atomic energy to the United Nations in 1946, known as the Baruch Plan. This proposal, though not adopted, demonstrated Baruch’s commitment to nuclear disarmament and global peace.
Legacy of Bernard Baruch: A Shaping Force in 20th Century America
Bernard Baruch passed away on June 20, 1965. His life and career, from a Wall Street financier to an advisor to presidents, made him a significant figure in American economic and political history. His wisdom, pragmatism, and commitment to peace continue to inspire today.