Wolfensohn, James David

Wolfensohn, James David,

1933–2020, Australian-American investment banker and financial executive, b. Sydney. Wolfensohn worked for banking institutions in Australia, London, and New York City, eventually becoming a senior executive at Salomon Brothers. In 1979, together with Chrysler chairman Lee IacoccaIacocca, Lee
(Lido Anthony Iacocca) , 1924–2019, American automobile business executive, b. Allentown, Pa., grad. Lehigh Univ. (1945), Princeton (M.A., 1946). That year he joined the Ford Motor Company, where he became best known for presiding over the creation (1964) of
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 and New York Federal Reserve Bank president Paul VolckerVolcker, Paul Adolph,
1927–2019, American economist, government official, and banker, b. Cape May, N.J. After working as an under secretary in the Treasury Department (1969–74) and as president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank (1975–79), he was appointed
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, he helped arrange the rescue of Chrysler from bankruptcy with a government bailout. He became a U.S. citizen in 1980, and in 1981 he founded his own investment firm. From 1995 to 2005, he served as president of the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and DevelopmentInternational Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
(IBRD), independent specialized agency of the United Nations, with headquarters at Washington, D.C.; one of five closely associated development institutions (also including the International Center for Settlement of
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), where he initiated debt relief programs for heavily indebted countries and developed a framework for addressing corruption in the implementation of World Bank projects. Also a philanthropist and arts patron, he was chairman of the board of Carnegie Hall (1980–91) and of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (1990–95).


See his memoir, A Global Life (2010); biography by S. Mallaby (2004).

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