Hopkins, Johns

Hopkins, Johns,

1795–1873, American financier and philanthropist, founder of Johns Hopkins Univ., b. Anne Arundel co., Md. In 1819 he founded his own commission firm, later known as Hopkins Brothers, and also went into banking. He later had a large part in the growth of the Baltimore & Ohio RR, of which he became a director in 1847. His cognizance of Baltimore's lack of medical facilities in times of epidemic and his own scant education led him to bequeath, a few years before his death, $7 million for the founding of a free hospital and Johns Hopkins.


See biography by H. H. Thom (1929).

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Hopkins, Johns

(1795–1873) merchant, philanthropist; born in Anne Arundel County, Md. In 1812 he left the family tobacco plantation for his uncle's Baltimore commission house. In the 1820s he formed Hopkins Brothers, a grocery store (which at times accepted whisky in payment and sold it under the name "Hopkins' Best") As he continued to prosper, his interests diversified into banking, insurance companies, steamship lines, and railroads. In his will, he left $7 million to establish in Baltimore the present world-class hospital and university that bear his name.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.