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"The best way to fight an enemy is head on- and out in the open."
|John L. Loeb Sr. Dies at 94; Investor and Philanthropist
By ERIC PACEDEC. 9, 1996
John Langeloth Loeb Sr., a leading member of the investment community who was long the head of the Wall Street firm of Loeb, Rhoades & Company, a predecessor of Shearson Lehman/American Express, died yesterday at his Upper East Side home in Manhattan. He was 94 and also had homes in Purchase, N.Y., and Lyford Cay, Nassau, the Bahamas.
Mr. Loeb died in his sleep about 6 A.M. and he had been going daily to his office in midtown Manhattan until about eight weeks ago, said his son John Langeloth Loeb Jr.
John Loeb Sr., a philanthropist who was active in political affairs as well as a pillar of Wall Street's Old Guard, was a founder with his father and two others of Carl M. Loeb & Company in 1931. That firm merged with Rhoades & Company in 1937 to form what became Loeb, Rhoades.
In 1984, after a succession of mergers in the intervening years, he was named an honorary chairman of the successor firm, Shearson Lehman/American Express, a subsidiary of the American Express Company.
Although he played no active role in Shearson, he continued to be involved for years in managing his family's investments and in numerous philanthropic activities, working regularly in his office in Manhattan.
At his death, he still controlled a boutique investment banking firm, the Loeb Partners Corporation. He was on the boards of Deltec, an investment banking firm, and of charitable and educational foundations. After his death, associates said his total contributions to cultural, educational and other nonprofit institutions over the years, including will bequests, totaled about $200 million.
His versatility and shrewdness, along with sizable amounts of capital, did much to nourish the success of Loeb, Rhoades. Among his talents, admirers said, was a fine sense of timing. He managed to complete the sale of Loeb, Rhoades's major holdings in Cuba, for example, the day before Fidel Castro came to power.
The tall, imposing, impeccably dressed Mr. Loeb was a partner in the firm from 1931 to 1955 and senior partner from 1955 to 1977. In the summer of 1977, having become chairman, Mr. Loeb resumed overall management responsibility at Loeb, Rhoades -- with the title of chief executive -- taking the place of Carl M. Mueller, who had succeeded him as the firm's top manager in 1973.
In 1978, Loeb, Rhoades merged with Hornblower, Weeks, Noyes & Trask to form Loeb Rhoades, Hornblower & Company, and Mr. Loeb became co-chairman of the combined firm's finance committee. In 1979, Loeb Rhoades, Hornblower, with severe back-office problems, merged with Shearson Hayden Stone to form Shearson Loeb Rhoades.
In 1981, Shearson Loeb Rhoades was acquired by the American Express Company, becoming Shearson/American Express. That firm in turn acquired Lehman Brothers, Kuhn Loeb, forming the American Express subsidiary, which no longer exists in that form.
Over the years, Loeb, Rhoades had remained to a considerable extent a family affair, with John Loeb's partners including his brother, Henry; his son, John Loeb Jr., and two nephews. Even in his 70's, Mr. Loeb remained the dominant personality inside the firm while exercising great influence on the outside as well. One widely quoted cartoon depicted him as telling his wife, ''No, I didn't have a hard time at the office, but everybody else at Loeb, Rhoades did.''
The upper reaches of the business world were Mr. Loeb's by birthright. He was born on Nov. 11, 1902, in St. Louis, the son of Carl Morris Loeb, an immigrant from Germany. Carl Loeb made a fortune early in life by gaining control of the American Metal Company and went on to become a co-founder with his son and two other partners of Loeb, Rhoades.
John Loeb's mother was the former Adeline Moses, an Alabama banker's daughter who traced her American lineage to pre-Revolutionary times. After briefly attending Dartmouth College, Mr. Loeb transferred to Harvard College and graduating from there in 1924. He worked for American Metal from 1924 to 1928, in its Pittsburgh and New York offices, and then was with Wertheim & Company in 1929 and 1930 before co-founding Loeb, Rhoades.
During part of World War II, from 1942 to 1944, he left Loeb, Rhoades to work for the Treasury and the Office of War Mobilization.
John Loeb's son and namesake was also interested in finance, and for a time John Loeb Sr. hoped John Loeb Jr. would also lead the firm. But the son's promotions generated controversy within the firm, and after serving as president from 1971 to 1973, he became a limited partner and then Ambassador to Denmark.
The elder John Loeb had a longstanding interest in politics. In 1964, he was an organizer of a blue-ribbon business group, the National Independent Committee for President Johnson and Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, who was Lyndon B. Johnson's running mate that year. In 1973, Mr. Loeb pleaded no contest in Federal court to three charges of having disguised campaign contributions to Senator Humphrey's 1972 Presidential primary campaign.
Pursuing their interest in public affairs, Mr. Loeb and his wife, the former Frances Lehman, entertained senators, mayors, governors and other political figures in their 14-room East Side home. They were also collectors of French Impressionist paintings, including canvases by Manet, Pissaro, Degas, Cezanne, and Renoir.
Mr. Loeb was long active, too, as a philanthropist. In one 15-year period, he gave about $5 million to Harvard, including the Frances L. Loeb Library, the Loeb Drama Center and a succession of annual Loeb fellowships. In 1981, he gave the university an additional $7.5 million.
Then, in 1955, he gave Harvard a gift estimated at $70.5 million, Joe Wrinn, a Harvard spokesman, said yesterday. Mr. Wrinn said that the gift was the largest Harvard had ever received from a living benefactor. Recipients of funds from the gift have included Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and School of Public Health. Harvard's president, Neil L. Rudenstine, said yesterday, ''John understood instinctively what the most important needs of a university were.''
Another major beneficiary of Mr. Loeb's largesse was New York University. After he gave $7 million to its Institute of Fine Arts, he declined an offer to rename the institute for him.
In his later years, Mr. Loeb became a friend of Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem and became deeply interested in Israel, where his philanthropic activities included the founding of a community center in East Jerusalem.
He was variously a director of Dome Petroleum, Allied Chemical, Seagram, General Instrument, Arlen Realty, the Empire Trust Company, the Rome Cable Company, the National Radiator Company and other companies; a governor of the New York Stock Exchange and a member of the advisory committee of the Bank of New York.
He was also the chairman and a trustee of the Institute of Fine Arts, a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, chairman and chief executive of the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation, and a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, the university's senior governing body.
He married Miss Lehman, the daughter of Arthur Lehman of the Lehman Brothers banking firm, in 1926. She was the granddaughter of Adolph Lewisohn, the banker and philanthropist, and niece of Herbert H. Lehman, who later became Governor of New York and a Senator.
Mrs. Loeb, New York City's Commissioner for the United Nations and the Consular Corps for 12 years in the 1960's and 70's, died last May.
In addition to his son, John Jr., of Purchase, Mr. Loeb is survived by another son, Arthur Lehman Loeb of Manhattan; three daughters, Ann Loeb Bronfman of Washington, who is Arthur's twin, Judith Loeb Chiara of Purchase and Deborah Loeb Brice of London; 14 grandchildren, including Edgar Bronfman Jr., the president of Seagram; a brother, Henry A., of Manhattan; and a sister, Margaret Loeb Kempner of Purchase, and numerous great-grandchildren.
New York Times, January 4, 1955
Born: September 28, 1875
Died: January 3, 1955
Married: Adeline Moses
Children: Mrs. Alan H. Kempner, John L. Loeb, Carl M. Loeb, Jr., Henry A. Loeb
Carl M. Loeb founded the investment banking and brokerage firm of Carl M. Loeb, Rhoades & Company in 1931.
He built Gull Bay Camp on Upper Saranac Lake.
New York Times, January 4, 1955
CARL M. LOEB, 79, BANKER, IS DEAD
Head of New York Investment Firm Donated Boathouse for Lake in Central Park
Carl M. Loeb, head of the Stock Exchange investment banking and brokerage firm of Carl M. Loeb, Rhoades &
Co., died yesterday in Mount Sinai Hospital. He had been ill there since Dec 10, and had suffered periodic
ailments during the last year. He was 79 years old and lived at 910 Fifth Avenue.
Mr. Loeb and his late wife, Mrs. Adeline Moses Loeb, were known for various philanthropic activities. These
included the gift of a new boathouse on Central Parks Seventy-second Street Lake. That $305,000 structure
was opened last March 12 by Mayor Wagner, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses and Manhattan Borough President
Hulan E. Jack.
Mrs. Loeb died Nov. 25, 1953. shortly after a family celebration marking the fifty-seventh anniversary of
Born in Frankfurt, Germany
Mr. Loeb was born Sept. 28. 1875, at Frankfurt. Germany, a son of Adolf and Minna Loeb. He was 17 years old
when his employer, a German concern that then was parent organization of the American Metal Company, sent
him to work in its office at St. Louis. Five years later Mr.
Loeb was naturalized as a United States citizen.
In 1904, having achieved a vice presidency in American Metal, he came to New York. He was elected president
of that organization ten years later. In 1917 he had been made president of Climax Molybdenum Company.
In January, 1931. having retired from his other business connections, he founded the brokerage firm. He
remained active in it until he became ill last month.
For many years Mr. Loeb was president of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews and a trustee of the
Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.
He also was a supporter of the New York Guild for the Jewish Blind, and a life trustee of Valeria House, a
vacation resort in Peekskill, N. Y. for persons of medium income.
Gifts to Harvard, Syracuse
Mr. Loeb donated a collection of manuscripts of Heinrich Heine to the Houghton Library at Harvard. To
Syracuse University, in 1946. he and Mrs. Loeb gave fifty-three acres and a number of buildings on the
shore of Upper Saranac Lake for use as a faculty rest home and a student art center.
It was in 1952 that Mr. and Mrs. Loeb learned of the need of a new boathouse on the Central Park Lake that
was a feature of the view from their apartment. They pledged a gift of $250,000 for the purpose, and later
increased the amount to $305,000. The brick-and-limestone building, which also houses a cafeteria, was
under construction when Mrs. Loeb died.
For this gift the Park Association awarded the couple its plaque for 1953, honoring Mr. Loeb and his late
wife for "practical public-spirited philanthropy."
Mr. Loeb leaves a daughter, Mrs. Alan H. Kempner; three sons, John L., Carl M. Jr., and Henry A., thirteen
grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Loeb Foundation to Close and Split Assets Among Heirs