Biography of Murry Guggenheim (1858-1939)

Industrial and American philanthropist, born in Philadelphia in 1858 and died in New York on November 15, 1939. It was the third of eleven children of the Patriarch of the family, Meyer Guggenheim, and his wife Barbara Meyers. During his adolescence, his parents sent him to Switzerland to study some of the secrets of the textile industry and, on his return, he/she entered the family business of importation of lace and embroidery. In 1881, Meyer Guggenheim began to lay the foundations of a new and prosperous business in the mining and smelting sector and the family moved to New York, where the "Children of Meyer Guggenheim", known as the Guggenheim Brothers company was installed. Murry was employed in the handling Department and sales of the company and developed a prosperous professional career. Eventually, became Chairman of the Finance Committee of the American company's refinery and smelter, was director of the Kennecott Copper company and, after the death of his brother Daniel, also assumed the Presidency of the family monopoly on quarries of nitrate in Chile.

Murry Guggenheim married in 1887 with Leonie Bernheim, Member of a prestigious Jewish family of French origin, whom he/she had met during a business trip in Switzerland and from the marriage were born two sons, Edmond and Lucille. The family established their residence in New York's Fifth Avenue. Following the tradition of the Guggenheim, they spent part of his fortune to finance philanthropic projects as the Foundation Dental Murry and Leonie Guggenheim for schoolchildren. They also donated a Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden.

As did his brothers, Murry built a summer residence in New Jersey. In 1903, he/she bought eight acres of land in West Long Branch (Florida) and hired the prestigious New York architects Carrère and Hastings to design the project that, once completed, was awarded the Gold Medal of the American College of architects. After the death of Leonie in 1959, which survived twenty years to her husband, the building passed into the hands of the Murry Foundation and Leonie Guggenheim which, at first, opted to transfer to Monmouth Medical Center. The decision raised a dream controversy among local residents who expressed their preference for the summer house of the Guggenheim give the Monmouth University. The protest was attended and, finally, the Foundation transferred officially building to the University on September 9, 1960. After some structural reforms at the residence, on September 24, 1961 opened the library in memory of Murry and Leonie Guggenheim.

Links on the Internet

http://bluehawk.monmouth.edu/library/library.html ; The Guggenheim Monmouth University Library (New Jersey) page.