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Definition: Gould from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate(R) Dictionary

Jay Gould 1836–1892 orig. Jason Gould Am. financier


Summary Article: Gould, Jay
from Britannica Concise Encyclopedia

(born May 27, 1836, Roxbury, N.Y., U.S.—died Dec. 2, 1892, New York, N.Y.) U.S. railroad executive, speculator, and robber baron. Educated in local schools, he worked as a surveyor and then operated a tannery. By 1859 he was speculating in the stocks of small railways. In 1867 he became a director of the Erie Railroad; in the following year he joined with Daniel Drew and James Fisk to prevent Cornelius Vanderbilt from buying control of the company. To this end he engaged in outrageous financial manipulations, including the issue of fraudulent stock and the payment of lavish bribes to New York state legislators to legalize the stock’s sale. He and Fisk then joined forces with William Magear Tweed to profit from further stock manipulations. In 1869 they attempted to corner the gold market, causing the Black Friday panic. In 1872 public outcry forced Gould to cede control of the Erie Railroad. With a fortune of $25 million, he began buying large blocks of stock in Union Pacific Railroad Company and acquired control of that company by 1874. By 1881 he owned 15% of all U.S. rail mileage. Having made large profits by manipulating the company’s stock, he pulled out of the company in 1882 and began building a new rail system southwest of St. Louis that by 1890 included half the region’s rail mileage. In 1881 he gained control of Western Union Corp., and he owned the New York World newspaper from 1879 to 1883. He remained ruthless, unscrupulous, and friendless to the end.

Birth Place: Roxbury, Massachusetts, United States

Death Place: New York City, New York, United States

Name: Gould, Jay or Jay Gould

Gender: male

Nationality: American

Activity: American financier

Keywords: Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, Union Pacific Railroad Company, speculation, American, Roxbury, New York City, New York, railroad, Drew, Daniel, Fisk, James, Erie Railroad Company, Jay Gould, gold, Gould, Jay, Black Friday, business

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Copyright 1994-2017 Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc

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