The HCNY Foundation provides the opportunity for HCNY Club members, Harvard alumni, and friends of the HCNY Foundation to create named scholarship funds with gifts of $150,000 or more.
Currently, there are two named funds: the George J.W. Goodman Endowment and the Herbert J. and the Lise R. Seligmann Endowment.
- The George J.W. Goodman Endowment
- The Herbert J. & Lise R. Seligmann Endowment
Funding for the George J.W. Goodman Lectures on Media and Global Affairs has been donated by longtime Club member, George J.W. Goodman ’52, better known as “Jerry” to the Club. As an extension of his distinguished career as an author, a host of an award winning television show, and an economist, Mr. Goodman endowed a generous gift to the HCNY Foundation to support a special lecture series with a focus on various aspects of media, including social media, and their implications in the world today. Carrying forward his belief in supporting local Harvard philanthropic efforts, Mr. Goodman’s extraordinary generosity to the HCNY Foundation funds these exceptional lectures for Club members and their guests to enjoy in perpetuity. His gift reflects his lifelong passions. Mr. Goodman has served on the Club’s Board of Managers, was an elected director of the Harvard Alumni Association, and sat on several Overseers Committees. He was also the Club’s Annual Dinner speaker in 2001.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Goodman received a small scholarship to Harvard College. When he sold a magazine piece at the end of his junior year, he actually gave the money back. Mr. Goodman took a full load of writing courses, was on the editorial board of The Harvard Crimson, and graduated magna cum laude, and then furthered his education by attending Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar studying political economy and wrote his first novel instead of a thesis, published as The Bubble Makers in the US and UK. Three more novels followed, one of which, The Wheeler Dealers, became a movie starring James Garner and Lee Remick, and Mr. Goodman wrote the screenplay. In 1954, he enlisted in the US Army and served mostly at Fort Shafter and in Southeast Asia, and he was assigned to the pre Green Beret Special Forces.
When Clay Felker was planning New York Magazine, he asked Mr. Goodman to do an anonymous page on Wall Street modeled on those in the Financial Times and The Economist. He gave the pseudonym “Adam Smith” to the page, apparently over Mr. Goodman’s objections. Mr. Goodman’s first “Adam Smith” book, called The Money Game, added psychology—”identity and anxiety”—to its view of the financial markets. It was number one on The New York Times best seller list for well over a year. The next book, Supermoney, introduced Warren Buffett to the world, and was also a number one bestseller. Three other “Adam Smith” books followed. Professor Paul Samuelson, America’s first economics Nobel Prize winner, wrote in his textbook, of The Money Game, “this is a modern classic.”
Goodman also had a long career as a television commentator on finance and economics as “Adam Smith,” most notably on PBS in the 1980s and ’90s as a Nightly Business Report contributor and as host of his own series, Adam Smith’s Money World. Its pioneering graphics reflected the metaphoric “Adam Smith” style. This series became the most honored program in its field, winning eight Emmy nominations and four Emmy Awards, as well as The Overseas Press Club Award. The “Adam Smith” program reported on scene. China Television, CCTV, reported after its broadcast that the first “Adam Smith” China special, “From Marx to Mastercard,” reached 375 million people. In the Soviet Union and subsequently in Russia, when Gorbachev introduced “perestroika” and “glasnost”–the opening of Russian society–“Mir Finansov”–the “Adam Smith” program, was broadcast weekly on Channel One in prime time, with a sound track in Russian, and Mr. Goodman’s interview with Gorbachev received wide attention. The weekly PBS program reached about 40 countries.
At Princeton University, he served on the Advisory Board of the economics department for 18 years, and then on the board of the Center for International Studies, whose chairman suggested that Mr. Goodman create an open lecture from his international programs from Russia and China. In 2003, Princeton named them the Goodman Lectures on Media and Global Affairs, and televisions clips made Gorbachev and Deng Xiao Peng and Carlos Menem more immediate. “Media now is much broader, with Facebook and other social media,” Mr. Goodman says. “I think of the Princeton lectures as the out of town tryout.”
For more information on the life and times of Mr. Goodman, please see the Times’ account of his accomplishments and impact. The HCNY Foundation is so grateful for Mr. Goodman’s remarkable generosity and is delighted to bring this special series to the Club.