John Mortimer Schiff

From ScoutWiki, For Everyone, Everywhere involved with Scouting and Guiding...
Jump to navigation Jump to search
John Mortimer Schiff

Schiff circa 1913 at the Piping Rock Club
Born August 26, 1904(1904-08-26)
Roslyn, New York, U.S.
Died Template:Death date
Oyster Bay, New York, U.S.
Occupation Businessman:
Racehorse owner/breeder

John Mortimer Schiff (August 26, 1904 - May 9, 1987) was an American banker and national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 1951 to 1956.


Born into a Jewish-German banker family in New York, as son of Mortimer Loeb Schiff and grandson of Jacob H. Schiff, Schiff graduated from Yale University in 1925 then spent a year at Oxford University in England. He learned the banking business as an employee with Bankers Trust and for a time worked on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Following the 1931 death of his father, he became a partner in the investment banking firm Kuhn, Loeb & Co.

John Schiff married Edith Baker, granddaughter of George Fisher Baker who was called "the richest, most powerful and most taciturn commercial banker in U. S. history" in a 1934 TIME magazine article.[1] They had two sons, David T. and Peter G. Schiff.

From 1965 to 1976, Schiff served as a Trustee of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation then as Trustee Emeritus until his death in 1987.

Scouting movement

Both John Schiff and his father were notable early Boy Scouts of America leaders. John Schiff served as national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 1951 to 1956. Schiff also served on the World Scout Committee of the World Organization of the Scout Movement from 1955 until 1961.

Schiff was awarded the Bronze Wolf, the only distinction of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, awarded by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting, in 1961. The John M. Schiff Scout Reservation was named in his honor.

Thoroughbred horse racing

Schiff owned and bred thoroughbred racehorses. He was the breeder of the 1970 American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt Hoist the Flag and successfully raced a number of horses including Plugged Nickle and Droll Role.[citation needed]


See also

Boy Scouts of America
Preceded by
Amory Houghton
National president
Succeeded by
Kenneth K. Bechtel