Marc Eugene Meyer
|Died||1925 (age 83)|
|Known for||President of Lazard Frères|
|Children||8 including Eugene Isaac Meyer and Florence Meyer Blumenthal|
|Parent(s)||Sephora Loeb Meyer|
|Family||Joseph Newmark (father-in-law)|
Agnes Ernst (daughter-in-law)
George Blumenthal (son-in-law)
Myer J. Newmark (brother-in-law)
Walter A. Haas Jr. (great-grandson)
Meyer was born to a Jewish family, the son of Sephora (née Loeb) and Isaac Meyer, in Strasbourg, France. His father was a rabbi and was a member of Strasbourg's civilian government; his grandfather Jacob, also a rabbi, was appointed by Napoleon I to the Congress of Jewish Notables to help delineate the legal status of French Jews. His brother-in-law, Zadoc Kahn, was the Grand Rabbi of France.
After his father's death in 1859, 17-year-old Meyer left Strasbourg and emigrated to California. French financier Alexandre Lazard of Lazard Frères recommended him to his cousin Alexandre Weill, (then Lazard's representative in San Francisco), securing Meyer work as a stock boy under Simon Lazard. (The Lazards, Weills, Kahns, and Meyers, all French Jews, had frequently intermarried.) In 1860, he was hired as a bookkeeper at the Los Angeles store of Solomon Lazard (Simon Lazard's cousin) on Bell's Row. Meyer and Solomon Lazard formed a partnership, founding an L.A. department store that later became known as The City of Paris (not to be confused with the similarly named store in San Francisco). In 1864, Meyer joined Lazard Frères, becoming a partner in 1868. In the 1870s, Meyer bought out his partner's interest in The City of Paris store, which would grow to be the largest and most elaborate department store in the Southwest. In 1884, he sold the store and moved to San Francisco, where he replaced Alexandre Weill as president of Lazard Frères, which was then one of the three "Houses of Lazard" (the other two being the Lazard operations in France and England). After the Panic of 1893 (partly brought about by the passing of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890), Meyer was reassigned to New York City to oversee Lazard's investments, and was seminal in persuading J.P. Morgan and many European investors not to liquidate their holdings. The act was soon repealed and the crisis resolved.
In 1867, he married Harriet Newmark, daughter of rabbi Joseph Newmark (Harriet's sister Caroline had married Solomon Lazard) and sister of Myer J. Newmark; they had five daughters and three sons. His son, Eugene Isaac Meyer, married Agnes Ernst. His daughter, Rosalie, married Sigmund Stern, the nephew of Levi Strauss and son of David Stern; and his daughter, Elise, married Sigmund's brother Abraham Stern. (Elise was later widowed and remarried Brazilian ambassador Luiz Martins de Souza Dantas in 1933 who saved more than 400 people helping to escape Nazi persecution). His daughter, Florence Meyer Blumenthal, married George Blumenthal. His son, Edgar Joseph Meyer (married to Leila Saks, the daughter of Andrew Saks), perished in the sinking of the RMS Titanic. His daughter Aline Meyer, married Charles Joseph Liebmann, the son of brewer Henry Liebmann and grandson of Samuel Liebmann. His great-grandson was Walter A. Haas Jr. (grandson of his daughter Rosalie), who served as president of Levi Strauss & Co.