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Trask Biography

Client: Spencer Trask & Co.
Project: Spencer Trask: Enigmatic Titan

The private equity firm of Spencer Trask & Co. commissioned us to produce the biography of the firm's namesake, Gilded Age financier Spencer Trask. Authored by David Worth, Spencer Trask: Enigmatic Titan was published in conjunction with the opening of the New York Public Library’s exhibition "Yaddo: Making American Culture” in October 2008. Trask was a Wall Street banker during the latter half of the 19th century, and an early investor in Thomas Edison, later to become the second president of Edison Lighting. Trask became president of the New York Times Company during the 1890s and funded Adoph Ochs's purchase of the paper in 1896, effectively rescuing the newspaper from failure. His estate in Saratoga, known as "Yaddo," was bequeathed in perpetuity as an artist's colony, and was the first of it's kind. Yaddo has nurtured many preeminent creative talents since its inception, including such luminaries as James Baldwin, Saul Bellow, John Cheever, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Truman Capote, Jacob Lawrence, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Philip Guston and Sylvia Plath, and continues today to nourish both new and established talents.

 

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