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E. F. Hutton

AKA Edward Francis Hutton

Born: 7-Sep-1875
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 11-Jul-1962
Location of death: Westbury, NY
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of E. F. Hutton brokerage

Edward Francis Hutton liked to portray himself as having worked his way to the top, and indeed, he dropped out of school after his father's death, finished his education in night school, and first worked in the mailroom at a securities firm when he was 15 years of age. He did, however, have a slight head start in the finance world -- his uncle was the CEO at a Cincinnati brokerage, Harris, Hutton & Company, and young Edward (who always preferred to be called E.F.) became a partner in that firm when he was twenty. At 25, he convinced his uncle to open a branch office in Manhattan with himself at the helm, and there his investment acumen made him a millionaire.

After a visit to San Francisco, Hutton became convinced that an office in that far-west outpost could be profitable, if it was wired with a private telegraph carrying information from New York far faster than the mails and media. When his uncle decided the idea had little potential, Hutton sought business partners and opened his own brokerage in 1904. According to legend, Hutton's private telegraph allowed him to divest all his San Francisco investments before word of that city's 1906 earthquake reached the East Coast.

He quit his eponymous brokerage after marrying Marjorie Merriweather Post, daughter of C. W. Post, then took command at Post's Postum Cereal Company, where he engineered its eventual acquisition of fourteen other small companies, emerging as General Foods. Politically conservative, he battled publicly with President Franklin D. Roosevelt over virtually every aspect of the New Deal.

Long after his death, Hutton's company withered away after a mail and wire fraud scheme in the late 1980s. Through a series of acquisitions, sales, and mergers, the remnants of Hutton's brokerage have been absorbed into Citigroup. His daughter, Dina Merrill, owns RKO Pictures, and his niece was Barbara Hutton.

Father: James Laws Hutton (b. 31-Mar-1847, d. 14-Dec-1885)
Mother: Frances Elouise Hulse Hutton (b. 26-May-1851, d. 12-Sep-1930)
Brother: Franklyn Laws Hutton (E.F. Hutton executive, b. 1-Dec-1877, d. 5-Dec-1940)
Wife: Blanche Horton Hutton (b. 6-Dec-1884, m. 9-Oct-1900, d. 18-Dec-1917 flu epidemic)
Son: Halcourt Horton Hutton (b. 7-May-1902, d. 25-Sep-1920 horse accident)
Daughter: Adelaide Brevoort Hutton Durant
Wife: Marjorie Merriweather Post Close Hutton Davies May (b. 15-Mar-1887, m. 7-Jul-1920, div. 1935, d. 12-Sep-1973)
Daughter: Dina Merrill (actress, b. 1925)

    High School: Trinity School, New York City
    University: Lehigh University

    E. F. Hutton Founder & CEO (1904-20)
    Postum Cereal Company Chairman (1922-29; company became General Foods)
    General Foods Chairman (1929-35)


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