If you had met him as a boy, you might not have expected John Pierpont Morgan to amount to much.
He was a sickly child, for starters, constantly beset by rashes, headaches, rheumatism, scarlet fever and a panoply of other ailments. What’s more, growing up in the shadow of his powerful, domineering and wildly successful father, the self-conscious Pierpont (as he was called by friends and family) seemed weak and wilting by comparison. He showed little intellectual curiosity and was notably mercurial, often letting his hot temper get the better of him.
And yet, by the end of his life, Morgan would be hailed as a world-bestriding colossus of American finance, in turns venerated and hated and feared for the vast capital he controlled through his international banking network.
So, how did Pierpont’s life experiences shape that sickly young boy into the financial monarch he eventually became? And how did he, in turn, shape the world around him with the vast wealth that was at his disposal? Let’s find out.
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