Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xviii

The suggestion to write the biography of Louis Bamberger came from Oscar Lax, a longtime member of the Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey, who claimed that no such history existed and that honoring...

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Introduction | “One of New Jersey’s Most Enlightened Personalities”

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pp. 1-12

On March 11, 1944, flags in Newark, New Jersey, were lowered to half-mast to mark the passing of “first citizen” and “adopted son” Louis Bamberger, one of America’s great merchant princes. Bamberger, founder and owner of L.  Bamberger &  Co., New...

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1 | Baltimore Roots, 1855–1887

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pp. 13-22

No one was better prepared for a career in retail than Louis Bamberger. He was raised in a family of dry goods merchants and shopkeepers. His mother and her parents were the Hutzlers who founded Baltimore’s famous department store. He was expected to go into the...

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2 | Building an Empire, 1892–1911

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pp. 23-42

On December 13, 1892, Louis Bamberger, Felix Fuld, Louis Frank, three sales people, one errand boy, and one delivery horse named Finnegan opened a small business on Market Street in Newark, selling merchandise purchased at a deep discount from a...

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3 | The Great White Store, 1912–1921

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pp. 43-72

Bamberger’s publicity department got the job of alerting the public that the “old” Bamberger building was closing and a newer, more modern eight-story building was about to open. They hired a bugler to stand at the entrance and play “Taps” at precisely 10:00 p.m. on the day...

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4 | One of America’s Great Stores, 1922–1929

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pp. 73-104

The Roaring Twenties were particularly hectic years. Business was on the upswing after the war, and to Louis Bamberger the brief deflationary recession known as the Depression of 1920–1921 was just another economic crisis to be overcome. In fact, he decided to increase the store’s...

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5 | “A Record of His Benefactions”: Bamberger as a Philanthropist

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pp. 105-125

"Many wished that Louis Bamberger lived to 200 years so that Newark could continue to profit from his activities,” wrote the Newark historian Charles F. Cummings in 1997. “Louis Bamberger, Felix Fuld, and Carrie Fuld probably still hold the record for being the greatest philanthropists of all time in New Jersey...

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6 | Bamberger, the Face of Newark’s Jews

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pp. 126-152

Louis Bamberger spent his entire career moving successfully between two tracks: his role as a prominent citizen of Newark and his role as a prominent Jewish citizen of Newark. Newark’s Jews were happy to claim both him and Fuld as “one of their own.” Beyond that, both enjoyed a nationwide...

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7 | “Maecenas of All the Arts”

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pp. 153-166

In 1927 Jewish Chronicle editor Anton Kaufman dubbed Louis Bamberger the “Maecenas of all the arts of the city of Newark.”1 Maecenas, a wealthy statesman of the Roman Empire, has come to personify an enlightened patron of the arts who uses his wealth for the greater public good. The phrase was indeed an apt...

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8 | Bamberger, Einstein, and the Institute for Advanced Study, 1930–1944

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pp. 167-205

Accounts of the founding of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) give the lion’s share of the credit to Abraham Flexner, the education expert who became its first director. Historians have generally thought of Louis Bamberger merely as the philanthropist who threw his...

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Epilogue | A Life Well Lived

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pp. 206-210

When Louis Bamberger died in his sleep in March 1944, all of Newark went into mourning. Flags flew at half-mast for three days. Mayor Vincent J. Murphy had Newark city hall draped with mourning colors. L.  Bamberger &  Co. closed for one day, and its Market Street window...

Notes

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pp. 211-248

Index

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pp. 249-258

Gallery | 1

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Gallery | 2

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