Simon William Straus (1866–1930) was a prominent American banker and philanthropist of Jewish descent. Straus is most notable as the founder of the mortgage real estate bond, the S. W. Straus Company, which financed many of America’s best-known skyscrapers including New York’s Chrysler Building, Chanin Building, New York Athletic Club, London Terrace Apartments, and Ziegfield Theatre.
Born in Ligonier, Indiana, to a family of bankers, Straus started his business career in Chicago, and moved to New York City in 1915. He led the Straus National Bank and Trust Company, the American Society for Thrift, and the Franklin Trust and Savings Bank.
Straus supported much Jewish philanthropy, including the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies, the Jewish Charities of Chicago, and Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital.
• READ: Books by S. W. Straus
Thrift is not an affair of the pocket, but an affair of character.
—S. W. Straus