Roger Babson

Roger Babson

Roger Ward Babson (July 6, 1875March 5, 1967), remembered today largely for founding Babson College in Massachusetts, was an entrepreneur and business theorist in the first half of the 20th century. He also founded Webber College, now Webber International University, in Babson Park, Florida, and the defunct Utopia College, in Eureka, Kansas.

He was born to Nathaniel Babson and his wife Ellen Stearns as part of the 10th generation of Babsons to live in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Roger attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked for investment firms before founding, in 1904, Babson's Statistical Organization, which analyzed stocks and business reports. It continues today as Babson-United, Inc. [cite web|url=|title=Babson-United|accessdate=2007-05-22|publisher=Babson-United, Inc.|author=Babson-United, Inc.: A Short History of Roger L. Babson's firm] .

On March 29, 1900 , Babson was first married to Grace Margaret Knight.

According to biographer John Mulkern, Babson attributed the business cycle:"to Sir Isaac Newton's law of action and reaction.... His pseudoscientific notion, that the laws of physics account for every rise and ebb in the economy, had no more validity than [astrology or alchemy] . But just as astrology gave birth to astronomy and alchemy to chemistry, so, too, did Babson's efforts to explain the economic cycle... lead to the economic breakthrough that revolutionized the business of economic forecasting." [cite web|url=|title=Continuity and Change: Babson College, 1919-1994|author=John Mulkern|publisher=Babson College Archives and Special Collections|year=1994|accessdate=2006-09-25]

Babson authored more than forty books on economic and social problems, the most widely read being "Business Barometers" (8 editions) and "Business Barometers for Profits, Security, Income" (10 editions). Babson also wrote hundreds of magazine articles and newspaper columns. He was a popular lecturer on business and financial trends.

Babson was an investor and sometimes director of many corporations, including some traded on the New York Stock Exchange. He established an investment advisory company "Babson's Reports" which published one of the oldest investment newsletters in America.

On September 5th, 1929, he gave a speech saying "Sooner or later a crash is coming, and it may be terrific". Later that day the stock market declined by about 3%. This became known as the "Babson Break". The Great Depression soon followed.

Babson was the Prohibition Party's candidate for President of the United States in 1940. Election was won by incumbent President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the Democratic Party. Babson was surpassed by two other unsuccessful candidates:
*Wendell Lewis Willkie of the Republican Party.
*Norman Mattoon Thomas of the Socialist Party of America.

Babson founded the Gravity Research Foundation in 1948. [Jon Mooallem (2007, October). A curious attraction. "Harper's Magazine," 315(1889), pp. 84-91.] The Foundation established a research facility in the town of New Boston, New Hampshire after Babson determined that this location was far enough away from the city of Boston, Massachusetts to survive a nuclear attack.

Babson was interested in the history of an abandoned settlement in Gloucester known as Dogtown. To provide charitable assistance to unemployed stonecutters in Gloucester during the Great Depression, Babson commissioned them to carve inspirational inscriptions on approximately two dozen boulders in the surrounding area Dogtown Common. The Babson Boulder Trail exists today as a well-known hiking and mountain-biking trail. The inscriptions are clearly visible. The boulders are scattered, not all are on the trail, and not all of the inscriptions face it, making finding them something of a challenge. Samples of some of the two dozen inscriptions include: HELP MOTHER; SPIRITUAL POWER; GET A JOB; KEEP OUT OF DEBT; and LOYALTY. [cite web|url=|title=The Babson Boulders|accessdate=2006-09-25|publisher=Eric Bickernicks|author=Eric Bickernicks: Photos of boulders, downloadable PDF map of boulders with GPS coordinates, image of Roger Babson] [cite web|url=|title=The Babson Boulders at Dogtown|accessdate=2006-09-25|publisher=Cape Ann Web]

He became a widower in 1956. He was later remarried to Nona M. Dougherty, who died in 1963.


* "Actions and Reactions", autobiography by Roger W. Babson

External links

*gutenberg author | id=Roger_W_Babson | name=Roger W Babson
* [ biographies of several Babsons including Roger Babson]

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  • Roger Babson — Roger Ward Babson (* 6. Juli 1875 in Gloucester (Massachusetts); † 5. März 1967) war ein US amerikanischer Statistiker, Wirtschafts und Börsenprognostiker und Autor. Babson erlangte im Börsencrash von 1929 Berühmtheit, als er kurz vor dem… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Babson — Roger Ward Babson (* 6. Juli 1875 in Gloucester (Massachusetts); † 5. März 1967) war ein US amerikanischer Statistiker, Wirtschafts und Börsenprognostiker und Autor. Babson erlangte im Börsencrash von 1929 Berühmtheit, als er kurz vor dem… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Babson-United, Inc. — Babson United, Inc. is the institutional successor to the securities analysis and investment management business founded in 1904 by Roger Babson.cite web|url=|title=Babson United|accessdate=2007 05 22|publisher=Babson United …   Wikipedia

  • Babson College — Infobox University name = Babson College motto = Innovation Is Our Tradition; It s Possible At Babson established = September 3, 1919 type = Private endowment = U.S. $225 Million president = Leonard Schlesinger faculty = Approximately 250… …   Wikipedia

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  • Babson College — ▪ college, Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States       private, coeducational institution of higher learning in Wellesley, Massachusetts, U.S. Business management education is emphasized at the college, which offers B.S. and M.B.A. degrees. It… …   Universalium

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  • Gravity Research Foundation — The Gravity Research Foundation, established in 1948 by businessman Roger Babson (founder of Babson College), [ Sir Isaac Babson (1948, August, 23). Newsweek , 32(8), p. 47.] was an organization designed to find ways to implement gravitational… …   Wikipedia

  • United States gravity control propulsion research (1955 - 1974) — American interest in gravity control propulsion research intensified during the early 1950s. Literature from that period used the terms anti gravity, anti gravitation, baricentric, counterbary, electrogravitics, G projects, gravitics, gravity… …   Wikipedia

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