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Henry Baldwin Hyde

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© 2011 Christy Hydeck. All rights reserved. Any use of this image without my written consent is in violation of the copyright. Inquiries on using my images can be made through my blog - (link above) Be sure to include a link to the image(s) you are requesting use of.


Henry Baldwin Hyde


Sitter: Henry Baldwin Hyde, 15 Feb 1834 - 2 May 1899


Artist: John Quincy Adams Ward, 1830 - 1910


Date of Work: 1901

Classification: Sculpture

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: With Mount: 52.1 x 18.4 x 16.5cm (20 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 6 1/2")

Owner : National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Acquisition Date: 1975-11

Credit Line: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Equitable Life Assurance Society

Exhibition: American Origins

On View: E133

Ref. NPG.75.42


As a young insurance cashier, Henry Baldwin Hyde perceived many shortcomings in his industry. He saw the need to promote life insurance as a moral good-as the "protector of widows and orphans"-to counter attacks by the clergy that it denied faith in divine protection. In 1859 Hyde launched Equitable Life Assurance, gaining the endorsement of such well-known ministers as Henry Ward Beecher. He gave policyholders the benefit of the doubt in disputes, and was the first to offer policies to women. Equitable was soon a leading insurance company and helped make life insurance an essential part of American life.

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Taken on October 1, 2011