Railroad Business Magnate. Son of John Brady (1810-1863), and Mary A, Brady (1824-1908). He gained employment in the rapidly expanding New York Central Railroad system rising to chief assistant for the Central's general manager by the age of twenty-one. In 1879, due to his thorough knowledge of the industry, and his acquaintance with officials of the leading rail lines, he became associated with the railroad supply firm of Manning, Maxwell and Moore. This at a time when railroading was the most powerful American industry, and its construction and operation the major preoccupation of Wall Street. Brady set a precedent by the scientific analysis of sales markets; his notebooks covered the past, current, and future needs of each particular rail system, resulting in fantastic commisions. In an age when the size of a man's diamond ring was an explicit statement of his business rating, the gems he wore bespoke the highly successful businessman he was to become. Furthering his income by stock investments, his fortune was estimated at twelve million dollars by the turn of the century. Never one for cautious spending, his lifetime accumulation of personal jewelry exceeded two million dollars; an expense that he allowed was entirely in keeping with his station as the man who first perfected the art of expense-account entertaining. He was the owner of the first automobile ( an electric 'brougham', made to his order ) ever to traverse the streets of New York City; causing the first auto-related traffic jam in Manhattan - this in 1895. Although his adventures with money were conducted on a grand scale, their memory is more transient than the legends of Diamond Jim at table, where his skirmishes with twelve-course dinners were so heroic as to elevate them to epic dimensions. Jim's end came in his sleep in a lavish suite at the Shelburne Hotel in Atlantic City, while recovering from an illness. Ever a bachelor, Jim's estate was bequeathed to charity, principally to the New York Hospital, and to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he is remembered in the James Buchanan Brady Urological Pavillion.
Bio by: R. Bruce
SON OF JOHN AND MARY A. BRADY