Good Example Of Shinning Stars And Business Evolutions: Comparing The Lives Of JP Morgan And Mary Pickford Essay
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At first glance, it might appear that JP Morgan and Mary Pickford have nothing in common. JP Morgan was a business mogul in the mind to late 19th century who is known for his ability to run businesses that were guided by his sense of morality and capable of producing wealth. Mary Pickford was a movie star of the early 20th century and director known for changing the dynamics of her industry and blazing a path for other women interested in taking non-traditional roles in the film industry. Both JP Morgan and Mary Pickford were innovators who allowed their personal lives and their careers to be guided by a combination of their ambition and their spirituality, changing the face of American business forever.
Though Morgan and Pickering came from startlingly different family situations, they both began training for their life’s work at a very young age. JP Morgan was born in Hartford Connecticut, the son of a banker and a housewife. It was not until his father died and he took over the family business that Morgan really began his work as an industry-revolutionizing financier, but his grooming for the role started at a very early age. At just 10 years old, Morgan was removed from public school and sent to the Episcopal Academy, a boarding school in Cheshire, Connecticut, to prepare him for his prestigious college career and more importantly to ensure he had the basic skills needed to one day take over the family business (New World Encyclopedia 1).
Mary Pickford came from more humble beginnings, she was born to a couple in Ontario, Canada, but unfortunately her parent’s separation, and ultimately her father’s death led to a tumultuous and unstable childhood. Her mother, Charlotte, took a number of odd jobs in order to finance the family’s living, one of which included acting as a seamstress and theatrical stage manager. As a result Gladys (better known as Mary) began her acting career on the stage at the tender age of 7 (Leavy 14).
One of perhaps the most interesting similarities between J.P. Morgan and Mary Pickford is their strong religious convictions. Morgan as raised Episcopalian, while Mary Pickford was baptized by her Grandmother into the Irish Catholic church, and later became extremely active as a Christian Scientist but both had an extremely profound sense of their own spirituality. Morgan is said to have been a significant member of the church in the 1890s, and established the Church Club of New York, a private Episcopal gentleman’s club in Manhattan, he also had a reputation for maintaining a sense of morality, and religious conviction in his business dealings (Young 1). Similarly, Mary Pickford credits her religion with not only shaping her family’s Sunday traditions, but with keeping her in an unhappy marriage longer than she would have liked, and with shaping the way she did business with others (Leavy 156). She expected respect an honesty from others and offered the same.
J.P. Morgan and Mary Pickford were known for their accomplishments in two different fields but were both working to innovate the industry in which they specialized. Morgan became known for his ability to take a struggling, or failing business, reorganize it, and bring it back to profitability, and his singular technique became known as “Morganization (Investopedia 1).” As his reputation grew, so did his ability to find investors willing to place their money in companies that were struggling.
Similarly, Pickford revolutionized film making by cast, acting in, producing and distributing her own films. This kind of Carte Blanche control over a film was unheard of in the industry at the time, especially for a woman (US History 1). But, as she had become the most sought after star in the US, it behooved those she worked for, and with, to give her what she wanted, thereby giving her fans more access to her.
Both J.P. Morgan and Mary Pickford used their position and their wealth to contribute charitably, and to support the US government during times of need, and the outcome was not always positive.
J.P. Morgan helped to strengthen the national economy during the panic of 1907, by using his personal financial reserves help secure an international line of credit, and strengthening the government by allowing it to pay him back over time. Many applauded his general sense of civic responsibility, but criticized the loan he gave the government because it was too great a risk and too much of a personal involvement in the government’s issues (New World Encyclopedia, 1).
Similarly, Pickford and her husband Douglas Fairbanks toured together for a Liberty Bonds Tour and worked to generate both financial and social support for the nation during World War II, and while their efforts were grossly successful, it is rumored that the role they played as America’s Sweetheart couple kept them too in the spotlight, and took them to far away from their careers, taking a toll on their marriage and ultimately leading them toward divorce (US History 1).
Both JP Morgan and Mary Pickford were public figures who led interesting, successful and charitable lives. They revolutionized their industries, and left a legacy that will be remembered for years to come.
"J. P. Morgan." New Word Encyclopedia. N.p., 2014. Web. 09 Feb. 2015. <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/J._P._Morgan>.
Leavey, Peggy Dymond. Mary Pickford: Canada's Silent Siren, America's Sweetheart. Toronto: Dundurn, 2011. Print.
"Mary Pickford." US History Biographies. US History, 2014. Web. 09 Feb. 2015. <http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h3890.html>.
"Morganization Definition | Investopedia." Investopedia. N.p., 12 May 2009. Web. 09 Feb. 2015. <http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/morganization.asp>.
Young, Ronald B. "The Church Club History." Church Club of New York. Church Club of New York, 2013. Web. 9 Feb. 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fchurchclubny.org%2Fthe-club%2Fhistory%2F>.
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