Jay Gould Net Worth

January 25, 2023
2 mins read

Jason Gould was born on the 27th May 1836 in Roxbury, New York, USA, and was a railroad developer, speculator and financier. As Jay Gould he is best known for being one of the most ruthless “robber barons” who took advantage of United States’ Gilded Age to dramatically develop his business and become one of the richest men of his era, and reportedly the ninth richest citizen in the entire history of the States. He is famous for developing America’s railroad system which later led to the realization of Union Pacific and Missouri Pacific Railroads. Jay Gould passed away in December 1892.

Have you ever wondered how much wealth he would have today? How rich Jay Gould would be? According to sources, it is estimated that the total size of Jay Gould’s net worth, as of early 2017, would be around $71 billion, primarily acquired through his successful business in the United States’ railroads system.

Jay Gould Net Worth $71 billion

Jay was born into a family of farmers, to Mary More and John Burr Gould and is of American and Scottish ancestry, and was a great-grandchild of John More who founded the city of Moresville, New York. After attending local schools, Jay enrolled at Hobart Academy in Hobart, New York, where he studied mathematics and surveying. He began his business career in 1853 as a blacksmith’s bookkeeper, but within a year he became the shop’s owner. In 1954 he began creating maps of New York’s Ulster County, and in 1856 he published his book “History of Delaware County, and Border Wars of New York”. Later that year, Gould teamed up with Zadock Pratt Jr. and founded Gouldsboro, a small tanning company which soon grew to Gouldsboro Tannery – one of the leading leather traders and manufacturers. These involvements provided the basis for Jay Gould’s net worth.

In 1859, Gould turned towards investment speculating – he began buying stocks of small railway companies, and acquired possession of Rutland and Washington Railroad. During the Civil War era, he continued to invest in railroads, and in 1863 became the chief manager of Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad while in 1868 he was named as the president of Erie Railway. It is certain that all these ventures helped Jay Gould to dramatically increase the total size of his net worth.

During the same period, apart from investing and developing his business, Gould became involved in politics as a member of New York City’s Tammany Hall. Trading and manipulating with his own companies’ stocks and associated banks, Gould gathered huge power on Wall Street, which he used to bribe judges and legislators. He is also the man responsible for 1869 Black Friday – he attempted to corner the market by buying gold in order to increase the price of wheat which resulted in panic on Wall Street and a drastic reduction of the US Treasury’s gold value. These shady business endeavors resulted in significant reduction of Jay Gould’s net worth.

However, by 1872 he managed to get back on his feet and began building up the railroad system in the west and mid-west of the States. In 1873, Gould took control of Union Pacific, and by the end of 1879 he was in control of three major railroad companies with over 10,000 miles (16,000 km) of track in his possession, including the Missouri Pacific Railroad and Manhattan Elevated Railroad. In 1881, he took over the Western Union Telegraph Company, and between 1879 and 1883 he owned the New York World newspaper. These successful enterprises contributed significantly to Jay Gould’s net worth.

When it comes to his personal life, Jay Gould was married to Helen Day Miller with whom, during their 26 year-long marriage between 1863 and 1889, he had six children. His son George Jay Gould followed his father’s footsteps, and became a successful railroad company owner himself.

He died of tuberculosis at the age of 56, on the 2nd December 1892 and was buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York.

Although he lived over 120 years ago, Jay Gould made an impact on modern culture as well – in 1976 he was featured in PBS’ miniseries “The Adams Chronicles” while in 2012 History Channel released the documentary “The Men Who Built America” in which he was portrayed by Cameron McNary. In 2014 his figure served as the main character of Marshall Goldberg’s historical mystery novel “The New Colossus”

Daniel Wanburg

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications.

At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

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