Eugene Isaac Meyer

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"George H.W. Bush admitted that, besides his Uncle George Herbert Walker, Jr., the largest single investor in his first venture into oil production in the 1950s was Eugene Meyer, Jr., a long-time client of Brown Brothers. Meyer, who purchased the Washington Post at auction in 1933, had been appointed in 1930 by Herbert Hoover to be Governor of the Federal Reserve Board. [1]

"With a profit of a half million dollars made in his first year of investing in stocks, in 1903 he set up his own brokerage house, Eugene Meyer Jr. and Company—the first statistical office with engineers and scientists on staff, who would steer his investment house into investments in copper, steel, motorcars and chemicals." ibid.

"Meyer also became involved in the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mining Company created with fellow public servant in the war effort, Bernard Baruch, in 1915. ... Through his association with Baruch, Meyer helped create the new Anaconda Copper. Eugene Meyer, Jr. authored a book, published in 1916, called The New Anaconda." ibid.

"Sitting as chairmen and on the boards of numerous entities created by the United States government in order to administer minerals and materiel into a massive war machine, Meyer and Baruch, together with the German banker who drafted the legislation to create America’s central bank, were “members of the famous Triumvirate which exercised unequalled power; Meyer as Chairman of the War Finance Corporation, Bernard Baruch as Chairman of the War Industries Board, and Paul Warburg as Governor of the Federal Reserve System.” ibid.

Eugene I. Meyer

Governor (Board)
1930 - 1933

Eugene Isaac Meyer was chairman (called “governor” before 1935) of the Federal Reserve Board from September 16, 1930, to May 10, 1933.

Meyer was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1875. He received his bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in law from Yale University.

In 1901, Meyer formed the brokerage firm Eugene Meyer Jr. and Co. His firm became increasingly focused on investment banking, and Meyer also became interested in the railroad, oil, copper and automotive industries.

Meyer first entered government service in 1917 when he assisted the Committee on Raw Materials with the acquisition of an abundance of copper for the armed forces. In 1918, President Wilson appointed Meyer the director of War Finance Corporation, where he served until 1920 when its activities were suspended. President Calvin Coolidge appointed him a member of the Federal Farm Loan Board in 1927. He resigned from this position in 1929 and was appointed to lead the Federal Reserve Board by President Hoover the following year.

As chairman, Meyer supported open market purchases and pushed for reform of the banking system, which involved a unified commercial banking system that only allowed for nationally chartered banks. He also favored government intervention, such as buying surplus cotton to help cotton prices.

After leaving the Federal Reserve Board, Meyer became the publisher of the Washington Post, serving in different positions for the newspaper company until his death in 1959.

Written by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. See disclaimer.
Born:  10/31/1875
Deceased: 07/17/1959

Governor (Board)
1930 to 1933

Preceded By: Roy A. Young
Succeeded By: Eugene R. Black
Affiliated With: Board of Governors