It's what happened in
America in the '20s
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
"FDR" became the 32nd President of the United States following Calvin Coolidge, whose term led up to the Great Depression and Herbert Hoover, who came to office in March of 1929. His Fireside Chats broadcast over the airwaves beginning in 1933 were instrumental in bringing the nation to focus on the details of his New Deal and the means of recovery.
Bernard Baruch
In his car in 1961, years after the Crash, with Winston Churchill, then Prime Minister of Britain. Their friendship pre-dated the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Financier Baruch encouraged Churchill to get out of the market before the Crash.
Izzy Einstein and Moe Smith
Served as dry agents for five years before the government dismissed them due to their publicity on November 13, 1925. Despite their unmatched record of arrests, convictions and seizures of bootleg booze, an official at the time of their firing claimed, "Izzy and Moe belong on the vaudeville stage." Izzy later wrote a book about his experiences entitled: Prohibition Agent Number 1, selling 575 copies. Both agents later worked in the insurance business and did well. A movie was released in 1985 called Izzy and Moe, starring Jackie Gleason and Art Carney.
Texas Guinan
Born Mary Louise Cecilia in Waco, Texas in 1884 and educated in Catholic schools, "Texas Guinan" acted in 36 movies and on Broadway before getting her biggest role of all as the infamous night club hostess. Successful, she netted $700,000 in one ten-month period, close to $10 million in today's money. Like most businesses, her speakeasies suffered during the Great Depression. In 1931, she took her troupe of dancing girls on the road. After performing in France, Canada and other countries, she suffered from an attack of ulcerated colitis from which she died at the age of 49, on November 5, 1933. Prohibition was repealed one month after her passing.
Evangeline Adams
Famous astrologist who is the inspiration for the character Evelyn Maker in 1929 AN UPPER CLASS AFFAIR. She was known as the Seer of Wall Street, predicted her own death to the exact day, and had many celebrity clients as well as a huge following through her newsletter.
Herbert Hoover
Due to the bad luck of presiding over the country at the time of the Crash and Franklin Delano Roosevelt's (FDR) negative Presidential campaign, Hoover has often been blamed for the Great Depression. Recent scholars have pointed out that a number of his policies started to work near the end of his term of office. Rexford Tugwell, New Dealer and member of FDR's "Brain Trust," even went so far as to claim, "Practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs Hoover started." Certainly whether the President's actions helped or worsened the depression, his legacy in other areas is still impressive.
Richard Whitney
Served as acting head of the New York Stock Exchange during the Great Crash. His actions then as well as during the Senate investigative hearings earned him respect on Wall Street. Unfortunately, while the Depression worsened, so did Richard Whitney's own financial situation. His firm bankrupt, personal accounts drained and real estate mortgaged, he resorted to speculating with his client's money. After his conviction, on April 11, 1938, he was sent to Sing-Sing to serve his sentence. Paroled in 1941, he lived for another twenty-seven years before he passed away at the age of 81.
Winston Churchill
The ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer and later famed Prime Minister of Britain was an investor in the American market and really did witness part of the Crash. Undoubtedly considered one of the greatest public figures of the 20th century, the successful statesman was also an artist and acclaimed author. He passed away in 1965 at the age of 81.
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis
Born on July 28, 1929 to Jack and Lee Bouvier, "Jackie" went on to become an American icon and one of the most adored First Ladies in history.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' father, "Black Jack" Bouvier, was a specialist at Post Eleven during the stock market crash. Following the advice of his grand-uncle Michael Bouvier, a successful broker, Jack converted most of his stock holdings into cash before the Crash.
Helena Rubinstein Born in 1870 to middle-class Jewish parents in Krakow, Poland, Helena Rubinstein moved to Australia in 1902 where she started selling face cream based upon a secret family formula. After studying dermatology, she successfully opened salons in London (1908) and Paris (1912) before immigrating to the United States during World War I. In 1953, the "Empress of Beauty," as Cocteau called her, used a great deal of her wealth to establish a non-profit foundation to benefit women and children. At the time of her death in 1965 at the age of 94 her international beauty empire was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. It should be noted that Helena Rubinstein really was a passenger on the Berengaria during the Crash and did lose a great deal of money on her stock investments during the trip.
Willy Messerschmitt
A legendary German aircraft designer and manufacturer. His single most important design is most often considered the Messerschmitt Bf109, which was designed in 1934 with the collaboration of Walter Rethel. The Bf109 became the most important fighter plane for the German Luftwaffe as the country re-armed before World War II. To this day, this plane remains the most-produced fighter in history, with some 35,000 built. Another later Messerschmitt aircraft broke the absolute world air-speed record and held the world speed record for propeller-driven aircraft until 1969. His company is also credited with producing the first jet-powered fighter to enter service. After World War II, Messerschmitt was tried by a de-Nazification court for using slave labor, and in 1948 was convicted of being a "fellow traveler." Following two years in prison, he was released and resumed his position as the head of his company.
John Jacob Raskob
The son of a successful New York cigar manufacturer who rose through the executive ranks of DuPont. He became an early investor in General Motors and helped engineer DuPont's 43 percent stake in GM. Raskob held the top financial position both at GM and Dupont until 1928, when he resigned and sold his company stock due to a dispute with Alfred Sloan, the Chairman, arising out of Raskob's being named Chairman of the Democratic National Party. Raskob was very bullish about the market and in the 1920s did give an interview for Ladies Home Journal in which he suggested every American could become wealthy by investing $15 per week in stocks. The piece came out mere months before the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The businessman used much of the proceeds from his GM stock sale to finance the building of the Empire State building. During the Great Depression, the public was entertained by the development and rivalry over which building would be taller: the Empire State or Chrysler. Raskob had 13 children, donated a great deal to charities and was a vociferous opponent of the New Deal.
Joseph Patrick Kennedy
Despite the public slight he suffered on Wall Street at the House of Morgan, Joe Kennedy had a lasting impact on America. The banker who made money selling bootleg liquor during Prohibition and was a short-seller in the market, also was a film producer and made a great deal of money in real estate. After serving as the Chairman of the S.E.C. from 1934-35, he headed the U.S. Maritime Commission from 1936-37 and served as the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain from 1937-40. Patriarch of a political dynasty, that includes a former President, several Congressmen and other government officials, the Kennedy legacy in the political, social and cultural realms remains alive and well in America today.
John Pierpoint Morgan Junior
Known to his father and friends as Jack, Morgan continued working and providing philanthropy through the desperate days of the Depression. New York particularly is richer for the vast amounts of art, literature and other donations bequeathed by the Morgan family. After the Senate investigative hearings in 1933 he retired from active business. Following a number of strokes he passed away in 1943 at the age of seventy-five. Through his efforts, his sons and capable managers like Thomas Lamont, the successors to the family’s banking house, remain among the most powerful and esteemed in the world.
John D. Rockefeller III
After graduating from Princeton and taking a year to travel, the tall apparently shy heir joined his father at their offices on 26 Broadway on December 2, 1929. On November 11, 1932, he married heiress Blanchette Ferry Hooker before 2,500 guests at Riverside Church. J.D. Rockefeller has been a most conscientious philanthropist behind numerous efforts including the Asia Society, Lincoln Center and Population Council as well as the Rockefeller Foundation. I would like to note that John's uncle, Percy Rockefeller, actually hosted the dinner for Winston Churchill described in the book.
Prescott Sheldon Bush
The successful investment banker served as a U.S. senator from Connecticut from 1952-1963. His son, George Herbert Walker Bush became the 41st President of the United States and grandson George Walker Bush served as the 43rd President.
Henry Ford He founded the Ford Motor Company and is considered the father of modern assembly lines used in mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. He was a prolific inventor and was awarded 161 U.S. patents. As owner of the Ford Motor Company he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with the mass production of large numbers of inexpensive automobiles using the assembly line, coupled with high wages for his workers.
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