SlideShare a Scribd company logo
Adapted from the foreword,
text, and imagery of 

“Spencer Trask: Enigmatic Titan”
”“Spencer Trask has so profoundly inspired me
that I am compelled to share his story…
Kevin Kimberlin
Chairman, Spencer Trask & Co.
— 2 —
Spencer Trask backed
entrepreneurs who changed the world,
leaving a rich legacy that
ripples through our lives every day
Trask supported Edison’s incandescent light and ran the first electric network
He built one of only a handful of Wall Street firms to survive almost a century
He helped New York Times emerge from the ruins of receivership and remake itself into
one of the world’s most influential newspapers
He financed the westward expansion of the US. Railroads,
the beginning of the music industry,
and the national rollout of electricity…
…thus helping usher in the modern age
— 3 —
— 4 —
Mr. Trask’s financial support of the electric lighting industry in its
pioneer days was a potent feature in securing to the community the
advantages and conveniences of the electric light and his unbound faith
and stupendous confidence in the future of the central
station business laid the foundation for its future prosperity.
New York Edison Company
”
“
— 5 —
Trask’s support of the arts is unparalleled in American history
As a founder of the National Arts Club, Trask was ahead of his time, insisting on
admitting women
With Clara Barton, he led national Red Cross fundraising efforts
He helped found Teacher’s College, then primarily a women’s college, now part of
Columbia University
He turned his estate in Saratoga Springs in the Yaddo artist’s retreat
—Progressive Humanitarian—
— 6 —
Yaddo has welcomed such luminaries as James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein,
Flannery O’Connor, Langston Hughes, Truman Capote, and John Cheever, who said:
YADDO
Guests at Yaddo have collectively won:
Sixty-Three Pulitzer Prizes
Fifty-eight National Book Awards
One Nobel Prize
The forty or so acres on which the principal buildings of Yaddo stand have seen more
distinguished activity in the arts than any other piece of
ground in the English speaking community and perhaps the world.
John Cheever
”“
poets.org pen.org brainpickings.org pbs.org amsaw.org
— 7 —
His generosity was so great that he sheltered and fed
all his friends, rich and poor alike,
provided they possessed talent and ability.
The New York Times
”
“
— 8 —
New York can ill afford to
lose Spencer Trask. He
ignored the favorite on
public-spirited men of
wealth. Though he belonged
to many of the larger clubs,
he rarely entered their
doors…He was not a
stockholder of the opera or a
supporter of fashionable
amusements.
His charities were
large and unostentatious.
New York Times editorial
eulogizing Spencer Trask
”
“
— 9 —
To him life gave its best, and from him it demanded
a heavy toll of affliction and grief. But sorrow
could not dishearten him and pain did not unnerve
him. They only seemed to strengthen his will.
He had but one object:
to do right and serve his fellow man.
Charles Evans Hughes
Governor of New York
”
“
— 10 —
His harvests did not make men poorer, but richer, for the money made
life more abundant to him and to all those with whom he had to do.
William T. Evans
National Arts Club
”“
— 11 —
For a man’s life consisteth not in
the abundance of the things
which he possesseth.
from The Parable of the Rich Fool,
found in Spencer Trask’s wallet after his death
”
“
— 12 —
Through Spencer Trask, entrepreneurs and artists alike gained support for their dreams.
He helped electrify the world, illuminate social issues with The New York Times, and,
through Yaddo, entertain and enlighten us for a century.
The more I learned about Spencer Trask, the more he helped me see what really matters:
faith, the power of human creativity, and a long term commitment to people worth
being loved and admired.
I could not have found a better role model.
”
“
Kevin Kimberlin
Chairman, Spencer Trask & Co.

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Spencer Trask Enigmatic Titan

  • 1. Adapted from the foreword, text, and imagery of 
 “Spencer Trask: Enigmatic Titan”
  • 2. ”“Spencer Trask has so profoundly inspired me that I am compelled to share his story… Kevin Kimberlin Chairman, Spencer Trask & Co. — 2 —
  • 3. Spencer Trask backed entrepreneurs who changed the world, leaving a rich legacy that ripples through our lives every day Trask supported Edison’s incandescent light and ran the first electric network He built one of only a handful of Wall Street firms to survive almost a century He helped New York Times emerge from the ruins of receivership and remake itself into one of the world’s most influential newspapers He financed the westward expansion of the US. Railroads, the beginning of the music industry, and the national rollout of electricity… …thus helping usher in the modern age — 3 —
  • 4. — 4 — Mr. Trask’s financial support of the electric lighting industry in its pioneer days was a potent feature in securing to the community the advantages and conveniences of the electric light and his unbound faith and stupendous confidence in the future of the central station business laid the foundation for its future prosperity. New York Edison Company ” “
  • 5. — 5 — Trask’s support of the arts is unparalleled in American history As a founder of the National Arts Club, Trask was ahead of his time, insisting on admitting women With Clara Barton, he led national Red Cross fundraising efforts He helped found Teacher’s College, then primarily a women’s college, now part of Columbia University He turned his estate in Saratoga Springs in the Yaddo artist’s retreat —Progressive Humanitarian—
  • 6. — 6 — Yaddo has welcomed such luminaries as James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Flannery O’Connor, Langston Hughes, Truman Capote, and John Cheever, who said: YADDO Guests at Yaddo have collectively won: Sixty-Three Pulitzer Prizes Fifty-eight National Book Awards One Nobel Prize The forty or so acres on which the principal buildings of Yaddo stand have seen more distinguished activity in the arts than any other piece of ground in the English speaking community and perhaps the world. John Cheever ”“ poets.org pen.org brainpickings.org pbs.org amsaw.org
  • 7. — 7 — His generosity was so great that he sheltered and fed all his friends, rich and poor alike, provided they possessed talent and ability. The New York Times ” “
  • 8. — 8 — New York can ill afford to lose Spencer Trask. He ignored the favorite on public-spirited men of wealth. Though he belonged to many of the larger clubs, he rarely entered their doors…He was not a stockholder of the opera or a supporter of fashionable amusements. His charities were large and unostentatious. New York Times editorial eulogizing Spencer Trask ” “
  • 9. — 9 — To him life gave its best, and from him it demanded a heavy toll of affliction and grief. But sorrow could not dishearten him and pain did not unnerve him. They only seemed to strengthen his will. He had but one object: to do right and serve his fellow man. Charles Evans Hughes Governor of New York ” “
  • 10. — 10 — His harvests did not make men poorer, but richer, for the money made life more abundant to him and to all those with whom he had to do. William T. Evans National Arts Club ”“
  • 11. — 11 — For a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. from The Parable of the Rich Fool, found in Spencer Trask’s wallet after his death ” “
  • 12. — 12 — Through Spencer Trask, entrepreneurs and artists alike gained support for their dreams. He helped electrify the world, illuminate social issues with The New York Times, and, through Yaddo, entertain and enlighten us for a century. The more I learned about Spencer Trask, the more he helped me see what really matters: faith, the power of human creativity, and a long term commitment to people worth being loved and admired. I could not have found a better role model. ” “ Kevin Kimberlin Chairman, Spencer Trask & Co.