Perkins, George W. (George Walbridge), 1862-1920

Alternative names
Birth 1862-01-31
Death 1920-06-18

Biographical notes:

Financier, industrialist.

Perkins was a vice president of the New York Life Insurance Company, and a partner in the financial firm of J.P. Morgan. He also took an active part in the formation of the International Harvester Company, and the Northern Securities Company, and in the management of the U.S. Steel Corporation.

From the description of George W. Perkins papers, 1871-1920. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 298686852

BIOGHIST REQUIRED George W. Perkins, Jr. (1895-1960) was a diplomat who served as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs under Dean Acheson, from 1949 to 1953, and as the US Permanent Representative to NATO, with rank of Ambassador, from 1955 to 1957.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Perkins was born in 1895 to Evelina Ball Perkins and George W. Perkins. His father was a financier, member of J.P. Morgan & Co. and one of the founders of Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive Party. He was also president of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission from its creation in 1900 to 1920. George W. Perkins, Jr. pursued his undergraduate studies from 1913 to 1917 at Princeton University, and in 1921 received an MA from Columbia. During World War I, from 1917 to 1919, he served as a Lieutenant in the 1st Division of the US Army. While he was fighting in France in 1918, his wife, Katherine Trowbridge, whom he had married in 1917, died. In 1921 he married Linn Merck, daughter of George Merck, President of Merck and Co. The couple had three children.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED From 1921 to 1922, Perkins was Executive Secretary to Postmaster General Will Hays, and then, from 1927 to 1948, he acted as Executive Vice President of Merck and Co. He took a leave of absence during World War II, from 1942 to 1945, while he was a Colonel working for the Chemical Warfare Service of the US Army. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1949, President Harry Truman appointed Perkins, a Republican, to the post of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs. In the four years he held this position, he advocated for a more open attitude toward Spain and helped to win financial aid for Yugoslavia from Congress, arguing that it would be a way of deterring the Soviet Union. President Dwight Eisenhower appointed him United States Permanent Representative on the Council of NATO in 1955, five years after Perkins had served as the US representative in the formation of NATO. In 1957 he was succeeded by W. Randolph Burgess.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In his last years, Perkins was very devoted to the Palisades Park Interstate Commission, of which he had been a member since 1922. He became President in 1945 and served for 15 years. He died in 1960.

From the guide to the George W. Perkins, Jr. Papers, 1895-1990, [Bulk Dates: 1909-1960]., (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library)


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Ark ID:


  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Insurance companies
  • Life insurance--History
  • Agricultural machinery industry
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Steel industry and trade
  • Banks and banking--History
  • Industry
  • Insurance companies--United States
  • Chemical warfare--United States


  • Executives
  • Industrialists
  • Capitalists and financiers


  • Palisades Interstate Park. (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)