8. J.P. Morgan
John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan’s career began as an accountant in 1857 at a New York banking firm. It wasn’t long before he put his training to good use, restructuring and consolidating a number of financially stressed rail companies. He eventually controlled an estimated one-sixth of America’s rail networks.
Morgan used his considerable influence and financial clout to bail out the American banking system in the 1890s and stabilise the market during the panic of 1907. On the day of his funeral in 1913, the New York Stock Exchange honoured his memory by suspending trade until noon.