Jay Gould

Born May 27, 1836

Jason "Jay" Gould was a leading American railroad developer and speculator. He has long been vilified as an archetypal robber baron, whose successes made him the ninth richest American in history. Condé Nast Portfolio ranked Gould as the 8th worst American CEO of all time. Some modern historians working from primary sources have discounted various myths about him.… Read More

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1836 Birth Born on May 27, 1836.


1854 18 Years Old 1 More Event
His principal was credited as getting him a job working as a bookkeeper for a blacksmith. A year later the blacksmith offered him half interest in the blacksmith shop, which he sold to his father during the early part of 1854. … Read More


In 1856 he published History of Delaware County, and Border Wars of New York, which he had spent several years writing.
1857 21 Years Old 1 More Event
Leupp and Gould was a successful partnership until the Panic of 1857. … Read More
In 1863 he was appointed manager of the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad. … Read More


1868 32 Years Old Jay Gould, Drew and James Fisk engaged in stock manipulations known as the Erie War, with the result that in the summer of 1868 Drew, Fisk, and Vanderbilt lost control of the Erie, while Gould became its president. … Read More
1869 33 Years Old 1 More Event
Tweed and Gould became the subjects of political cartoons by Thomas Nast in 1869. … Read More
In 1873 Gould attempted to take control of the Erie Railroad by recruiting foreign investments from Lord Gordon-Gordon, whom he believed was a cousin of the wealthy Campbells looking to buy land for immigrants. … Read More


1879 43 Years Old By 1879, Gould gained control of three more important western railroads, including the Missouri Pacific Railroad.He controlled 10,000 miles (16,000 km) of railway, about one-ninth of the length of rail in the United States at that time, and, by 1882, he had controlling interest in 15 percent of the country's trackage. … Read More
1881 45 Years Old He obtained a controlling interest in the Western Union telegraph company, and, after 1881, in the elevated railways in New York City.
1883 47 Years Old When Gould withdrew from management of the Union Pacific in 1883 amidst political controversy over its debts to the federal government, he realized a large profit for himself.


1889 53 Years Old In 1889, Gould organized the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, which acquired a bottleneck in east-west railroad traffic at St. Louis; after Gould's death the government brought an antitrust suit to eliminate the bottleneck control. … Read More
1892 57 Years Old Gould died of tuberculosis on December 2, 1892, and was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx, New York. … Read More
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