WARBURG , family of German and U.S. Jews.
paul moritz warburg (1868–1932) was a banker and philanthropist. Born in Hamburg, Germany, he became a partner in 1895 in his family's banking house, M.M. Warburg and Co. In the same year he married Nina Loeb, daughter of Solomon Loeb of Kuhn, Loeb and Co. of New York. In 1902 Warburg moved to the United States and became a member of the Kuhn, Loeb firm. Warburg's contribution to the U.S. banking system was considerable. One of the chief architects of the legislation establishing the Federal Reserve System in 1913, he served as a member of the Federal Reserve Board (1914–16) and as its vice governor (1917–18). Although he declined reappointment and returned to private banking, Warburg maintained an active interest in the board by serving as a member (1921–23) and president (1924–26) of its advisory council. He also wrote several books expounding his belief in the necessity for a strong, politically independent central banking system in the United States. Active in philanthropic and civic affairs, Warburg was a leading figure in the work of the *American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies in New York City, the American Society for Jewish Farm Settlement in Russia, the Juilliard School of Music, the National Child Labor Committee, Tuskegee Institute, and many others. He wrote Federal Reserve System – Its Origin and Growth (1930).
Paul Warburg's son, james paul (1896–1969), was also a banker. He was born in Hamburg, Germany, and was taken to the United States in 1902. After service with the Navy Flying Corps in World War i, Warburg pursued a career in finance, serving as president of the International Acceptance Bank and director of the Bank of the Manhattan Company. He was also one of the major backers of the highly successful Polaroid Corporation. A liberal Democrat, Warburg was a member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "brain trust" during the early years of the New Deal. At the same time, he entered a new phase of his career as a prolific writer, first of poetry and technical works on textiles, later of popular volumes on economics, public affairs, and foreign policy. In the late 1930s, Warburg urged U.S. intervention against Nazi Germany and during World War ii served as deputy director of the Office of War Information. Disenchanted with the Cold War atmosphere of the 1950s, Warburg consistently championed the cause of peaceful coexistence of the major powers, awareness of the dangers of German rearmament, and the necessity for an independent, progressive U.S. foreign policy. He wrote the autobiographical The Long Road Home (1964).
felix moritz (1871–1937), a brother of Paul M. Warburg, was also born in Hamburg, Germany. He moved to the United States in 1894, married Jacob H. Schiff 's daughter Frieda (see below) in 1895, and became a partner in his father-in-law's banking firm, Kuhn, Loeb and Co. Although Warburg participated, as partner and later as senior partner in Kuhn, Loeb and Co., in the financial aspects of the economic and industrial transformation of the U.S., his chief interests were philanthropy, education, and culture, and his contributions in these fields were considerable. He was one of the earliest supporters in New York City of the Educational Alliance and the Henry Street Settlement, organizations facilitating the absorption of immigrants. He served on the New York City Board of Education (1902–05) as a New York State probation commissioner, and he was active in movements to combat juvenile delinquency and family desertion. Deeply interested in music and art, he was a leader in the development of the Juilliard School of Music, the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, and the erection of the Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard University. His educational activities included service as a trustee of Teachers College of Columbia University, financial support of the Horace Mann and Lincoln Schools, presidency of the American Association for Adult Education, and trusteeship of the American Museum of Natural History.
A key figure in the German-Jewish elite which dominated the U.S. Jewish community in the early decades of the 20th century, Warburg's manifold activities displayed a wide range of sympathetic interests. He was chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee from its establishment in 1914 until 1932, a major contributor to the American Society for Jewish Farm Settlement in Russia, and founder of the Refugee Economic Corporation. At home, he led in the formation in 1917 and subsequent administration of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City and was president of the Young Men's Hebrew Association of New York. He generously supported Jewish education, including the Hebrew Union College and, especially, the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Graduate School for Jewish Social Work. Not a Zionist, Warburg nevertheless was active in promoting Jewish settlement in Palestine through major support of the Palestine Economic Corporation and The Hebrew University. He cooperated with Louis *Marshall, president of the American Jewish Committee (of which Warburg was a member), and Chaim *Weizmann in the broadening of the *Jewish Agency for Palestine to include non-Zionists. Chairman of the Agency's administrative committee, he resigned in 1930 in protest against British policies restricting Jewish immigration, and, in 1937, he protested the British plan for the partition of *Palestine.
Felix Warburg's wife, frieda (née schiff; 1876–1958), was a philanthropist and communal leader. She was associated with her husband in numerous philanthropies and was also a leading figure in her own right. Among her major interests were the Young Women's Hebrew Association and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. Although a non-Zionist, she was active in the work of Hadassah, especially its Youth Aliyah and the hospital in Jerusalem, and the American Friends of The Hebrew University. Her largest single gift was $650,000 in 1951 to the United Jewish Appeal to aid in the absorption of immigrants to Israel.
Felix and Frieda Warburg's son frederick marcus (1897–1973) was a banker. After service in the U.S. Army during World War i, he was an investment banker, serving with the American International Corporation (1919–21), M.M. Warburg and Co. (1922–27), and Lehman Brothers (1927–30). In 1931 he became a partner of Kuhn, Loeb and Co. Among the civic and communal groups in which he served as officer or trustee were the American Museum of Natural History, Boy Scout Council, National Recreation Association, and the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. During World War ii Warburg rose to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army Special Service Division.
His brother gerald felix (1907–1971) made his debut as a cellist with the New York Philharmonic in 1925, was a member of the Stradivarius Quartet from 1930 to 1936, and organized the Stradivarius Society. He was also a founder and conductor of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra and served as an officer of the New York City Center and Carnegie Hall.
Another brother paul felix (1904–1965) was active in banking and related fields, including service with the International Acceptance Trust Company, Bank of the Manhattan Company, J.S. Bache and Company, and, from 1951 to 1961, Carl M. Loeb, Rhoades and Co. He was a founder and president of the Federation Employment Service. During the 1930s he was active in bringing child refugees from Nazi Germany to the United States, and during World War ii he served in the army as an intelligence officer and military attaché at the U.S. embassy in Paris. From 1946 to 1950 he was a special assistant at the U.S. embassy in London. A prominent member of the Republican Party, he was a director of the United Republican Finance Committee.
Another brother edward mortimer morris (1908–1992) graduated from Harvard University in 1930. He did not engage actively in the family's banking business, but was immersed in a variety of cultural, communal, and philanthropic activities. His interest in the fine arts was expressed through teaching at Bryn Mawr College (1931–33), extensive foreign travel, a notable private art collection, service as a founder and trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and chairmanship of the American Patrons of the Israel Museum. He was a member of the Board of Regents of New York State, a trustee of the Institute of International Education, and special assistant to the governor of New York on cultural affairs. Most significant in Warburg's career was his outstanding Jewish philanthropic leadership. He was chairman of the *American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (1941–66) as well as chairman (1950–55) and honorary chairman from 1956 of the United Jewish Appeal. In 1967 he became president of the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York. Warburg's interest in Israeli institutions included trusteeship in the American-Israel Cultural Foundation and membership in the Board of Governors of The Hebrew University. During World War ii he served in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of major.
dab, 19 (1936), 412–3 (on Paul Moritz Warburg); 22 (1958), 694–5; Adler, in: ajyb, 40 (1938/39), 23–40 (on Felix Moritz Warburg); M. Warburg, Aus meinen Aufzeichnungen (1952); E. Rosenbaum, ylbi, 7 (1962), 121–49; D. Farrer, The Warburgs (1975).