Frank A. Vanderlip

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Frank A. Vanderlip (November 17, 1864-June 30, 1937) was assistant secretary of the treasury, president of the National City Bank, and social commentator.

Frank Arthur Vanderlip was born in Aurora, Illinois, in 1864. He attended the University of Illinois taking engineering courses but did not graduate. He found employment, though, at a local machine shop. Sometime around 1884, he left for Chicago and found employment as a financial writer, first for a consulting firm and then for the Chicago Tribune. He advanced quickly at the Tribune and was soon the financial editor. Later he became one of the editors for The Economist in which he was also a part owner.

In 1897, President William McKinley appointed Lyman J. Gage to be Secretary of the Treasury. Gage asked Vanderlip to be his personal secretary, a position Vanderlip accepted. Within months, however, Vanderlip was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Treasury handling the US deposits. These responsibilities opened him personally to many contacts in the US financial world. In the summer of 1898, these contacts bore fruit. To finance the Spanish-American War, Vanderlip worked with National City Bank to secure a $200 million loan for the government.

Following his government service, Vanderlip became the Vice President for National City Bank. In this role he became also a social commentator, writing on US commercial interests overseas, the role of business in education, and other social and beneficent movements, such as the introduction in the US the Montessori Method of kindergarten instruction.

In 1909, Vanderlip was elected president of National City Bank and retired ten years later. As president, he was a member of the Jekyll Island group, a group of bankers that met in November, 1910, and which wrote the bill that became the Federal Reserve Act.

Because of his association with Henry S. Pritchett, who was the Director of the US Geological Survey in the Treasury department when Vanderlip was Assistant Secretary, Vanderlip served as a trustee of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, of which Pritchett was president (1905-30).