BAMBERGER, LOUIS


BAMBERGER, LOUIS
BAMBERGER, LOUIS (1855–1944), U.S. merchant and philanthropist. Bamberger was born in Baltimore, Maryland. As a boy, he began work in a dry goods store, but while still a young man he moved to New York to engage in wholesale merchandising. In 1892 he and his brother-in-law, Felix Fuld, founded L. Bamberger and Co., a small department store, in Newark, New Jersey. Adopting advanced methods of merchandising and the latest techniques of publicity, Bamberger's grew into one of the largest and most profitable American establishments. In 1929 R.H. Macy of New York took over the Bamberger firm but Louis Bamberger continued to serve as president of the Newark store until 1939. He gave his employees a cooperative interest in the firm, established a pension program for them, and marked his own retirement by distributing cash gifts and annuities to workers who had been employed for a minimum of 15 years. Another of Bamberger's successful enterprises was the Newark radio station WOR, which he built in the 1920s. Bamberger's philanthropies covered a wide range of interests. He gave generously to Newark's hospitals and Community Chest, and to the furtherance of the arts and sciences. The long list of Jewish causes and institutions to which he contributed included the jewish theological seminary of America. A charter member of the Newark Museum, and later its honorary president, he provided the funds for the new building, opened in 1926, and donated a vast quantity of art, archaeological, scientific, and industrial objects. Bamberger's greatest philanthropic act, which he shared with his sister, Mrs. Felix Fuld, was a gift of $5,000,000 for the establishment of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. He and his sister also contributed to the Fuld House at Princeton, which provided quarters for the Institute. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Newark Museum Association, Louis Bamberger … a Tribute… (1944); T. Mahoney, Great Merchants (1955), 167–70, 194. (Morton Mayer Berman)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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