Harry F. Guggenheim

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Harry Frank Guggenheim (August 23, 1890 – January 22, 1971) was an American businessman, diplomat, publisher, philanthropist, aviator, and horseman.

Harry Frank Guggenheim
Harry Frank Guggenheim and wife - cropped.jpg
United States Ambassador to Cuba
In office
PresidentHerbert Hoover
Preceded byNoble Brandon Judah
Succeeded bySumner Welles
Personal details
Born(1890-08-23)August 23, 1890
West End, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedJanuary 22, 1971(1971-01-22) (aged 80)
Sands Point, Long Island, New York, U.S.
Helen Rosenberg
(m. 1910; div. 1923)

Caroline Morton Potter
(m. 1923; div. 1939)

(m. 1939; died 1963)
Children3, including Diane Hamilton
Parent(s)Florence Shloss Guggenheim
Daniel Guggenheim
RelativesMeyer Robert Guggenheim (brother)
Gladys Guggenheim Straus (sister)
EducationColumbia Grammar School
Sheffield Scientific School
Alma materPembroke College, Cambridge
OccupationBusinessman, newspaper publishing, statesman, racehorse owner/breeder, philanthropist, aviator
Guggenheim and Jimmy Doolittle circa 1928-1930

Early lifeEdit

He was born August 23, 1890, in West End, New Jersey.[1] He was the second son of Florence (née Shloss) Guggenheim (1863–1944) and Daniel Guggenheim.[2] He had an older brother, U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Meyer Robert Guggenheim, and a younger sister, Gladys Guggenheim Straus. His father who assumed control of the Guggenheim family enterprises after his grandfather's death in 1905,[2] and his mother was a co-founder, and president, of the Guggenheim Foundation as well as the treasurer of the Women's National Republican Club from its inception in 1921 to 1938.[3]

He graduated in 1907 from the Columbia Grammar School in Manhattan, and then he attended the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University. He later left Yale and served a three-year apprenticeship at the American Smelting and Refining Company in Mexico. The company was owned by the Guggenheim family. He resumed his education in 1910 at England's Pembroke College at Cambridge University from which he was awarded a B.A. and an M.A., both in 1913.[1]


In 1917 he bought a Curtiss flying boat and moved to Manhasset, New York. In September 1917 he joined the United States Navy Reserve and served overseas in France, England and Italy as a member of the First Yale Unit during World War I.[4]

In 1924, his parents established the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation and he was made a director and later president. He sponsored Robert H. Goddard's private research into liquid fuel rocketry and space flight.[5] He provided funds for the establishment of the first Guggenheim School of Aeronautics at New York University in 1925. Guggenheim became president of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics a year later. This fund, totaling $3 million, included an equipment loan for operating the first regularly scheduled commercial airline in the United States. It also provided for the establishment of the first weather reporting exclusively for passenger airplanes.

Guggenheim was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1971 for his service to aviation.[6]

Military careerEdit

In World War I, he was commissioned Lt. J. G., USNRF, and was sent to France. He also served in England and Italy until the Armistice, when he left the Navy with the rank of Lt. Commander. Guggenheim was a lieutenant commander.[7] In World War II, he was recalled to active duty in the Navy and served in the South Pacific as a tail gunner on a torpedo bomber.[8] Guggenheim rose to the rank of captain by the end of the war.

Public serviceEdit

Guggenheim was the United States ambassador to Cuba from 1929 until his resignation in 1933. According to his obituary, "much of his time during that period was devoted to prevailing on the Cuban dictator‐president, Gen. Gerardo Machado y Morales, "not to murder too many of his political enemies," as Mr. Guggenheim later put it.[1]

In 1929, President Herbert Hoover appointed Guggenheim to serve on the National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics, a position that he held until 1938. In 1948, as president of the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, he continued to support United States aviation progress when he helped organize the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Jet Propulsion Center at the California Institute of Technology and the Guggenheim Laboratories for Aerospace Propulsion Sciences at Princeton University.[1]

Thoroughbred horse racingEdit

Guggenheim was a participant in the founding of the New York Racing Association. From 1929 he was a major thoroughbred racehorse owner and breeder. His Cain Hoy Stable raced in the United States and was the owner of numerous successful horses including the 1953 Kentucky Derby winner Dark Star, the only horse ever to defeat the legendary Native Dancer, and Eclipse Award winner Bald Eagle. Also he was the breeder and owner (until his death) of Ack Ack, who is in the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and was American Horse of the Year in 1971.[1]


Guggenheim, with his third wife, Alicia Patterson, founded the newspaper Newsday in 1940.[citation needed] Guggenheim was president of the company, while his wife was editor and publisher until her death in 1963, then he assumed those duties until 1967.[citation needed] The circulation of Newsday reached 450,000 and received the Pulitzer Prize in 1954.[1]

In 1967, he turned over the publisher position to Bill Moyers and continued as president and editor-in-chief. But Guggenheim was disappointed by the liberal drift of the newspaper under Moyers, criticizing the "left-wing" coverage of Vietnam War protests.[9][10] The two split over the 1968 presidential election, with Guggenheim signing an editorial supporting Richard Nixon, when Moyers supported Hubert Humphrey.[11] Guggenheim sold his majority share to the then-conservative Times-Mirror Company over the attempt of newspaper employees to block the sale, even though Moyers offered $10 million more than the Times-Mirror purchase price; Moyers resigned a few days later.[9][12][13] Guggenheim, who died a year later, disinherited Moyers from his will.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

On November 10, 1910, Guggenheim was married to Helen Rosenberg at the Rosenberg residence on 166 West 78th Street. Helen was a daughter of Herman Rosenberg.[15] Before their divorce in 1923, they were the parents of two daughters:[1]

His second marriage was on February 3, 1923 to Caroline (née Morton) Potter (1882–1952), a daughter of Paul Morton, the former vice president of the Santa Fe Railroad who served as Secretary of the Navy under President Theodore Roosevelt. Caroline, the former wife of William C. Potter (president of the Guaranty Trust Co. who had done business with Guggenheim in 1920), was also the niece of Joy Morton, founder of Morton Salt, and a granddaughter of Julius Sterling Morton, who had served as Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland.[20] Before their divorce in 1923, they were the parents of one daughter:[1]

On July 1, 1939, Guggenheim married for the third time to Alicia (née Patterson) Brooks (1906–1963) in Jacksonville, Florida. Alicia, the former wife of U.S. Representative James Simpson Jr. and football coach Joseph W. Brooks, was a daughter of Joseph Medill Patterson (founder of the New York Daily News) and sister of James Joseph Patterson.[23]

Guggenheim died of cancer on January 22, 1971, at "Falaise",[24] his home at Sands Point on Long Island, New York.[25] He was buried in Salem Fields Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Harry Guggenheim Dead; Newsday Founder Was 80". The New York Times. 23 January 1971. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b Photo, Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES Underwood & Underwood (29 September 1930). "DANIEL GUGGENHEIM DIES SUDDENLY AT 74 OF HEART DISEASE; Philanthropist, Capitalist and Patron of the Arts Succumbs at Port Washington Home. SET UP AERONAUTICS FUND $2,500,000 Gift the Basis of Important Research--Liberal Donor to Many Charities. HE WON WEALTH IN MINING A Friend of Labor, He Had Wide Interests in Industry--Leaders in Many Fields Pay Tribute. A Life of Usefulness. DANIEL GUGGENHEIM DIES SUDDENLY AT 74 Began Work in Switzerland. Was Progressive in Business. Many Business Connections. An Ardent Humanitarian. Devoted to Art. Aeronautics School Created. PHILANTHROPIST CALLED BY DEATH. BRITISH PRAISE GUGGENHEIM. Newspapers Pay Tribute to His Aid to Aviation". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Florence Shloss Guggenheim". jwa.org. Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  4. ^ Trimble, William F. (2002). Jerome C. Hunsaker and the rise of American aeronautics. Smithsonian Institution. pp. 224. ISBN 1-58834-006-6.
  5. ^ Lehman, Milton (Oct 4, 1963). "How Lindbergh Gave a Lift to Rocketry". LIFE Magazine. 55 (14): 118ff. ISSN 0024-3019. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  6. ^ "Guggenheim, Harry Frank, Naval Aviator, Enshrined 1971
  7. ^ The National Aviation Hall of Fame
  8. ^ "Harry Guggenheim Dead; Newsday Founder Was 80," New York Times obituary, Jan. 23, 1971, p. 1
  9. ^ a b "The Press: How Much Independence?". Time. April 27, 1970. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  10. ^ Keeler, Robert F. (1990). Newsday: a candid history of the respectable tabloid. Morrow. pp. 460–61. ISBN 1-55710-053-5.
  11. ^ "Newsday Goes For Nixon, But Moyers Balks". Chicago Tribune. October 17, 1968. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  12. ^ "Moyers Resigns Post at Newsday". The New York Times. May 13, 1970. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  13. ^ Raymont, Henry (March 13, 1970). "Newsday Employes Seek to Block Sale of the Paper". New York Times. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  14. ^ "$12 Million Left to Charity by Guggenheim". Chicago Tribune. January 30, 1971.
  15. ^ "H. F. GUGGENHEIM IS A BRIDEGROOM; Son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Guggenheim Married to Miss Helen Rosenberg. MISS RENA WILSONV A BRIDE Wedded In Floral Bower at Sherry's to Mortimer D. Stein of Chicago--Parcells-Hoxie Nuptials In Brooklyn". The New York Times. 10 November 1910. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  16. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths VAN DE MAELE, JOAN". The New York Times. 14 September 2001. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths VAN DE MAELE, ALBERT C." The New York Times. 19 January 1999. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  18. ^ TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (2 March 1939). "NANCY GUGGENHEIM WED TO G.T. DRAPER; Daughter of Former Envoy to Cuba Married in Home at Port Washington STUDENT OF THE BALLET Graduate of Columbia School of Business--Bridegroom Served in Spain". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Mrs. Nancy Williams". The New York Times. 4 January 1973. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  20. ^ "MRS. POTTER WEDS H. F. GUGGENHEIM; Daughter of Late Paul Morton Married to Son of Head of Mining Interests". The New York Times. 4 February 1923. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  21. ^ "DIVORCES JOHN LANGSTAFF; Wife of Baritone Was Diane Guggenheim, Envoy's Daughter". The New York Times. 12 July 1947. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  22. ^ Kelly, John (May 26, 2001). "Fine boys they were back then". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  23. ^ TIMES, Special to THE NEW YORK (2 July 1939). "Harry Guggenheim Weds Mrs. Brooks; Ex-Envoy to Cuba Marries the Daughter of Joseph Medill Patterson in Florida". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  24. ^ L, Zach (July 19, 2008). "Falaise". OLD LONG ISLAND. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  25. ^ "Falaise - home of Henry Guggenheim". Archived from the original on 2006-06-24. Retrieved 2006-06-03.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Cuba
Succeeded by