Kissin, Harry, Baron
KISSIN, HARRY, BARON
KISSIN, HARRY, BARON (1912–1997), financier and patron of the arts. Kissin was born in Danzig of Russian-Jewish parents. After living in Switzerland he settled in England in 1933, and devoted himself to finance, becoming executive chairman of the Guinness Peat Group Ltd., merchant bankers, and chairman and director of other city companies. He was appointed chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1969, and in 1973 director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and chairman of the Royal Opera Trust. Kissin was a long-time friend of Harold Wilson, who frequently consulted him on trade matters; in the 1950s, when Wilson's Labour Party was in opposition, Kissin used Wilson as a consultant. In 1974 Kissin was given a life peerage by Wilson. Kissin was a generous supporter of Jewish and Israeli causes and was a governor of the Hebrew University.
[Michael Wallach /
William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]