Wall Street Legends No 19 - Sidney Weinberg

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Sidney James Weinberg (October 12, 1891 – July 23, 1969) was a long-time leader of Goldman Sachs, nicknamed 'Mr. Wall Street' by The New York Times and a 'director's director' by Fortune magazine, because of the number of corporate boards he sat on.

In a rags-to-riches story, he rose from a janitor's assistant, making $3 a week, to firm CEO.

Weinberg's background contrasted sharply with that of the traditional Ivy League Wall Streeter. Weinberg was one of eleven children of a Jewish wholesale liquor dealer. His family were active members of Congregation Baith Israel Anshei Emes in Brooklyn, joining when the synagogue was on Boerum Place, and remaining with it when it moved to Cobble Hill. Sidney's mother, Sophie, was sisterhood president from 1912 to 1913, his father, Pincus, served as president from 1919 to 1921, and the children all attended the Sunday school and Talmud Torah. Sidney married Helen W. Livingston there in 1920.

Weinberg never got farther than junior high school at P.S. 13, dropping out, but with letters of recommendation from one of his teachers.  His initial work at Goldman included brushing the firm’s partners’ hats and wiping the mud from their overshoes. The grandson of the firm’s founder, Paul Sachs, liked Weinberg, and promoted him to the mailroom, which Weinberg reorganized. To improve Weinberg's penmanship, Sachs sent him to Brooklyn's Browne's Business College.

Weinberg did a stint in the U.S. Navy in World War I, and afterwards became an equities trader. Goldman Sachs bought Weinberg a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1925.

He became a Goldman Sachs partner in 1927 and helped run the investment trusts, including Goldman Sachs Trading Corp. He co-ran the division with Waddill Catchings, who shriveled the market value of Goldman Sachs Trading Corp. from $500 million to less than $10 million. At this point, Weinberg took over the division, and became a senior partner in 1930, subsequently head of the firm and saving it from bankruptcy. He held that position until his death in 1969.

Weinberg had two children, John Livingston Weinberg and Sidney J. 'Jim' Weinberg, Jr. Both would serve as Goldman partners.

Source - www.wikipedia.com


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