Financial History 140 Winter 2022 - Page 16

JOHN E . HERZOG Founder and Chairman Emeritus , Museum of American Finance
Thank you so much , Dick . You have been one of the Museum ’ s greatest supporters since we met in 1990 , first on the Financial History editorial board , then the Board of Trustees and , finally , as chairman of the Board . It has been a great treat for me and a pleasure to work with you , and I thank you for your unwavering enthusiasm for the Museum ’ s mission . I also want to congratulate my fellow honorees and thank them for their very welcome interest and support for the Museum .
I remember thinking after the Crash of 1987 that the American public did not really understand the capital markets , although they are one of the great gems of America . And I thought it might be a good time to create a museum to enhance the general understanding of finance in America . I knew very little about museums then , but my energy won , and I took an existing family organization and changed its name . It worked , and then the real fun started .
At first , people thought I was very far out , but gradually things changed and greater understanding followed . We were surprised when a visitor from China asked for a meeting and told us that based on our model , there were seven finance museums in operation in China . And there were others , too , started by people who had visited our museum without identifying themselves . We were greatly encouraged .
Our exhibits got much better , and we finally got support from the community , making it possible to do things so successfully lately . Our relationship with the Gabelli School at Fordham , and the financial education series for adults with the
New York Public Library are splendid accomplishments . I am so proud of all that has happened ! I believe my original objective will be addressed very well , and I hope this new information from the Museum will benefit those who take the trouble to find it .
For my part , I will now try to correct my great error of the early days in not creating an endowment fund , and I will make an initial donation to that fund of $ 1 million . I could not be more pleased with all that has happened , and if you feel that way , please think of investing in the endowment fund too .
I would like to thank the Museum for this beautiful award . It will have a place of honor in my home . It contains the titles and dates of 48 exhibits the Museum has curated since 1989 — a number that would have seemed staggering to me in the early days . I have wonderful memories of all of these , and I know there will be many more to come .
The Museum of American Finance seeks to improve understanding of the influence of financial institutions and capital markets on the US and global economies , and on individuals ’ lives .
Tax-deductible donations of all amounts are greatly appreciated and help support all aspects of the Museum ’ s mission to educate the public through exhibits , financial literacy programs and public events .

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14 FINANCIAL HISTORY | Winter 2022 | www . MoAF . org