- Raskob, John Jakob
- (1879-1950)Born in Lockport, New York, after leaving college John Raskob became a business secretary. He held a number of different posts in business before he became bookkeeper and then personal secretary to Pierre S. du Pont in 1900. While with du Pont, Raskob was involved in the absorption of General Motors. He became finance director and then vice president of General Motors from 1918 to 1928 but continued to work for du Pont until 1946. A multimillionaire, Raskob wrote an article in the Ladies Home Journal in 1929 entitled “Everybody Ought to Be Rich” that seemed to sum-up the 1920s. However, Raskob was a friend and supporter of Alfred E. Smith, and he became chair of the Democratic National Committee in 1928 and supported Smith’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. Raskob resigned his position and returned to General Motors in 1932, when Franklin D. Roosevelt won the nomination. He subsequently was active in the anti-New Deal American Liberty League, and after he retired in 1946 he was involved in a number of charitable organizations and the Catholic Church. The Empire State Building, which he financed in competition with the Chrysler Building (completed in October 1928 at 1,045 feet tall), is a lasting memorial to him. The Empire State Building was completed in 1931 and stood 1,453 feet tall.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.