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Meyer Guggenheim Biography »
Meyer Guggenheim (February 1, 1828 – March 15, 1905) was the patriarch of what became known as the Guggenheim family. He was born in Lengnau, Aargau, Switzerland, was of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and emigrated to the United States in 1847. He started out in the importing business, but made his and his family's fortune (which was one of the largest fortunes of the 19th century) in mining and smelting. He and his wife Barbara had ten surviving children. Five of his seven sons were active in the family businesses: