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Benjamin Graham

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Benjamin Graham

The Memoirs of the Dean of Wall Street


15 min read
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What's inside?

Benjamin Graham’s memoirs will teach you little about finding value in stocks, but a great deal about finding satisfaction in life.

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The Dean of Wall Street confesses. That would be a great lead, except that Benjamin Graham has little to confess. Rather, Graham, considered the father of modern security analysis, tells us about his life, career, and his intellectual passions. He shares his thoughts about a range of issues, and about his experiences. For instance, did you know that he valued his intellectual pursuits more than making money? Or that he was a Broadway playwright? These memoirs are more concerned with Graham’s story than with his investment techniques. getAbstract recommends this book to those who want to learn more about Ben Graham, the man. It is not for those who want to learn more about Ben Graham, the founder of value investing.


My Life: The Early Years

I was born in London, England, in 1894, the youngest of three boys: Leon, Victor, and Benjamin Grossbaum. My childhood memories are unclear, particularly recollections of events before my father’s death, so I rely in part on others’ accounts.

When I was not even a year old, my family moved to New York City. I do not know if my father intended us to stay only a short period of time or to become permanent citizens of the United States. I do know he was very proud of his British heritage, which he retained to his death.

At Ellis Island, our name was changed to Graham. This was a common event for that time. I have a photo of my brother and myself from those early years. We are wearing white sailor suits with black scarves, white socks, straw hats, and - to my horror - short skirts. It was not uncommon in those days for very young boys to be dressed in skirts to make it easier for the nursemaid to change them. Still, even though I was only two years old in the photograph, it is an emotionally unsettling picture.

As a young boy, I do remember being a fiercely patriotic Englishman who believed in the superiority of everything English. ...

About the Author

Benjamin Graham (1894-1976) was a seminal figure on Wall Street. Among his many books were Security Analysis (co-authored with David Dodd in 1934 and now in its Fifth Edition from McGraw-Hill) and The Intelligent Investor. As the founder of the value school of investing, Graham influenced such subsequent legends as Warren Buffet, Mario Gabelli, John Neff, Michael Price, and John Bogle. Benjamin Graham graduated from Columbia University, where the Graduate School of Business has honored him in perpetuity with a professorship known as the Graham/Dodd Chair.

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