Birthplace: Langnau, Switzerland
Location of death: Palm Beach, FL
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Salem Fields Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Patriarch of Guggenheim fortune
Meyer Guggenheim came from his native Switzerland to Philadelphia as an impoverished young man, first selling metal polish and later establishing a business importing Swiss embroideries. He saved his profits and when nearly sixty years of age he purchased two Colorado mining interests, and soon came to own a series of copper, silver, and lead mines and smelters. In 1891 he consolidated his ownings as the Colorado Smelting and Refining Company, and beginning in 1899 he invested heavily in the stock of his rival, the American Smelting and Refining Company, taking over the Board by 1901 to achieve virtual control of the entire American copper industry.
After Guggenheim's death, his son Daniel Guggenheim extended the family firm's control of the metal-processing business by purchasing mining, smelting, and processing companies in Alaska, South America, and Africa, and later established the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation. John Simon Guggenheim, another of Guggenheim's children, became a US Senator in Colorado, and established the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1925. A third son, Solomon Guggenheim, married into the Rothschild family and established the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which operates the famed chain of Guggenheim Museums. Another son, Benjamin Guggenheim, was among the most famous and wealthy Americans who went down with the "unsinkable" Titanic when it sank. His granddaughter, Peggy Guggenheim, became a renowned art collector.
Major present-day corporations that trace their ancestry to companies owned by Guggenheim and his sons include American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO), Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile, Grupo Mexico, Nabors Industries, and Phelps Dodge.
Wife: Barbara Meyers Guggenheim
Son: Isaac Guggenheim (mining and metals executive, b. 1854, d. 1922)
Son: Daniel Guggenheim (mining and metals executive, b. 1856, d. 1930)
Son: Murry Guggenheim (mining and metals executive, b. 1858, d. 1939)
Son: Solomon Guggenheim (philanthropist, b. 2-Feb-1861, d. 3-Nov-1949)
Son: Benjamin Guggenheim (mining and metals executive, b. 26-Oct-1865, d. 15-Apr-1912 Titanic)
Son: John Simon Guggenheim (US Senator, b. 30-Dec-1867, d. 2-Nov-1941)
Son: William Guggenheim (author, b. 1868, d. 1941)
Mining Hall of Fame
Philadelphia Smelting & Refining Company Founder (1889)
Colorado Smelting and Refining Company Founder (1891)
American Smelting and Refining Company Board Member (1899-1905)
Naturalized US Citizen 1847
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