Alfred H. Gordon: Banker who foresaw the 1929 Wall Street Crash and ran the London Marathon at 81

Albert H. Gordon was one of the last surviving American bankers to have been deeply involved in the Wall Street Crash of 1929. He had foreseen some of its disasters and had been invited to join the almost bankrupt firm of Kidder Peabody before he was 30. He was the senior partner by 1931 and a dominant force there for 65 years. He was instrumental in opening the first overseas office, in London in 1956, co-operating with the well-established firm of Cazenove, and its second office in Hong Kong in the same year. Energetic in all his business dealings,he favoured early air travel, thereby often reaching potential clients before his land-travelling rivals.

He was a keen anglophile and became a friend and benefactor to many British causes and institutions. He completed the London Marathon at the age of 81 and he was known to have walked from his apartment in Gracie Square, New York to La Guardia airport in one direction and, on a more regular basis, to Wall Street in the other. He surprised an English friend when he was 93 by taking a day trip to Atlanta, Georgia, alleging that he was only imitating the ancient Roman custom of producing a senior citizen at important meetings even when they were dead.

When the Trollope Society was created in the mid-1980s, he was, as an admirer and collector of Anthony Trollope's first editions, the natural choice to preside over its American branch. He attended Society dinners on both sides of the Atlantic, coming in 1998 to present John Major with a copy of The Prime Minister in its original parts. Ten years earler he had acquired a complete set of Trollope's novels which had been inscribed to the author's elder son, Henry. In 2007 the set was donated to the Fellows' Library at Winchester College, where Trollope had been, somewhat unhappily, at school.

In Winchester Gordon was an extraordinary benefactor both to the Cathedral, where he helped to create the Triforium Gallery, and the College, where he contributed on a considerable scale to the restoration of the Chantry Cloisters, to the 15th Century Muniment Room where the College Archives are stored and to the new squash courts. He was awarded an honorary OBE in 2001. Modest in his outlook and lifestyle, Al Gordon was an inspiration to his friends. That he happily survived until he was within two months of his 108th birthday was his crowning achievement.

John Saumarez Smith

Albert Hamilton Gordon, banker, benefactor and book collector; born North Scituate, Massachusetts 21 July 1901; married Mary Rousmaniere (died 1980, three sons, two daughters); died 1 May 2009.

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
fashion

British supermodel and hitmaker join forces to launch a 'huge song'

News
news

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce they are set to welcome second child in spring

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually a challenging and nuanced title

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Sport
Fans of Palmeiras looks dejected during the match between Palmeiras and Santos
footballPalmeiras fan killed trying to 'ambush' bus full of opposition supporters
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

NQT Job Opportunties in Winsford

£85 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Are you a Newly Qualified Teac...

Year 3 Teachers needed for supply roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Year 1 Teachers needed for day to day roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Year 2 Teachers needed for day to day roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past