Pierre Jay

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Person.png Pierre Jay  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(central banker)
Pierre Jay.jpg
BornMay 4, 1870
Died1949-11-24 (Age 79)
Alma materYale University
Member ofSkull and Bones
First chairman of the New York Federal Reserve in 1913

Pierre Jay [1] was the first chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


Jay was born on May 4, 1870 in Warwick, New York.[1] He was the son of Rev. Peter Augustus Jay (1841–1875), a protestant Episcopal clergyman, and Julia (née Post) Jay.[2] Jay grew up in Rye, New York at the Jay Estate ancestral home of his great-great grandfather, American Founding Father, John Jay. Among his siblings was Mary Rutherfurd Jay, one of America's earliest landscape architects.[3][4][5][6]

His maternal grandparents were Dr. Alfred Charles Post and Harriet (née Beers) Post and his paternal grandparents were John Clarkson Jay and Laura (née Prime) Jay (herself the daughter of prominent banker Nathaniel Prime of Prime, Ward & King).[7]

Jay attended the Groton School, graduating in 1888 before attending Yale University, where he graduated in 1892, and was a member of Skull and Bones, one of the most important of the secret societies based at Yale University. He received an honorary A.M. from Yale in 1917.[1]


After Yale, he was associated with Post and Flagg, bankers in New York and served as vice president of the Old Colony Trust Company in Boston, from 1903 to 1906.[1]

From 1906 to 1909, he was Bank Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where, in 1908, he, along with Bostonian business man and philanthropist Edward Filene, helped organize public hearings on creating credit union legislation in Massachusetts, leading to the passage of the Massachusetts Credit Union Act in 1909. This legislation was the first to enable the formation of credit unions in the United States. Jay also became the first-ever chairman of the New York Federal Reserve in 1913 after its formation until January 1, 1927 when he was sent to Berlin to be the American member of the transfer committee under the Dawes Plan.[1]

Jay was also one of the founders of Fiduciary Trust Company International, now a subsidiary of Franklin Templeton, and was board chairman from 1930 to 1945, and honorary chairman in 1945.[1]

Personal life

In 1897, Jay was married to Louisa Shaw Barlow (d. 1965),[8] the daughter of Maj. Gen. Francis Channing Barlow and Ellen (née Shaw) Barlow, sister of Col. Robert Gould Shaw. Her father served as New York Secretary of State and the State Attorney General. Together, they were the parents of:

  • Ellen Jay (1898–1995),[9] who married Lloyd K. Garrison.[10]
  • Anna Maricka "Nancy" Jay (1900–1982), who married Alexander Duer Harvey, the great-grandson of John Van Buren, second son of President Martin Van Buren.[11]
  • Frances Jay (1904–1979), who did not marry.
  • Luiza Jay (1909–1980), who married Imre de Vegh, son of Charles de Vegh a member of the Upper Chamber of the Hungarian Parliament.[12][13] She later married Lawrence W. Fox.[8]

Jay died at his home, 133 East 64th Street in New York City on November 24, 1949.[14][1]