Investment banker Jay Cooke
Jay Cooke is the man who helped the government bankroll the Union during the Civil War.
A young Jay Cooke opened his own bank, Cooke & Co., in 1861. Not too long after the beginning of the Civil War, Cooke issued bonds to raise a war loan of $3 million for the state of Pennsylvania.
In 1862 the Treasury Department engaged him to handle the sale of $500 million worth of bonds. Cooke got rich from the huge commissions from the sale.
During the Panic of 1873 Cooke was forced into bankruptcy but was able to rebuild his fortune by 1880 by investing in a Utah silver mine.
Today Cooke is regarded by historians as one of the greatest bankers of the 19th century.