Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Guggenheim
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(gʊg'ənhìm), family of American industrialists and philanthropists. Meyer Guggenheim, 1828–1905, b. Aargau canton, Switzerland, emigrated (1847) to the United States, prospered as a retail merchant in Philadelphia, and in time built up a flourishing business importing Swiss embroidery. When nearly 60 he purchased from friends some Colorado mining property. Sensing that sure profits were in processing rather than in mining, he built large smelters in Colorado and Mexico and a refinery at Perth Amboy, N.J. The expansion of the Guggenheim enterprises was accelerated by seven well-trained sons—Isaac, Daniel, Murry, Solomon, Benjamin, Simon, and William—who filled strategic places in the Guggenheim organization. Daniel Guggenheim, 1856–1930, b. Philadelphia, was largely responsible for combining (1901) the Guggenheim interests with the American Smelting and Refining Company, of which he became president. The Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, devoted to aeronautical research and development, represents his principal philanthropy. His son, Harry Frank Guggenheim, 1890–1971, b. West End, N.J., fought in the two world wars, served in international conferences, was (1929–33) ambassador to Cuba, and was cofounder with his wife of the Long Island newspaper Newsday. Daniel's brother, Simon Guggenheim, 1867–1941, b. Philadelphia, served (1907–13) as U.S. Senator from Colorado. With his wife he established (1925) in memory of their son the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, which grants scores of fellowships annually to scholars, writers, artists, and scientists. Another brother of Daniel, Solomon Robert Guggenheim, 1861–1949, b. Philadelphia, established a foundation to increase public appreciation of modern art. The foundation created (1937) in New York City the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for modern art.

  • See O'Conner, H., The Guggenheims (1937).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

Related Articles


Full text Article 1937 The Guggenheim
The Almanac of American Philanthropy

Solomon Guggenheim was born into a wealthy mining family, and expanded his fortune through his own mining ventures. He turned primarily to philanth

Full text Article Guggenheim
Philip's Encyclopedia

US family of industrialists and philanthropists. Meyer Guggenheim (1828-1905), b. Switzerland, emigrated to Philadelphia (1847) and prospered...

Full text Article Guggenheim, Solomon Robert
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US businessman and art collector. After study in local schools and in Zürich, he became a partner in his father's Swiss embroidery import business. H

See more from Credo