Walter B. Wriston Papers, 1918 -- 2008

This collection has:

30.73 Cubic Feet
32 letter size document boxes, 6 oversize boxes, 6 record cartons, 2 legal size document boxes, 1 half letter size document box, 1 half legal size document box
1 Volumes
111 Digital Object(s)

Walter B. Wriston (1889-1978) was born in Middletown, Connecticut, on August 3, 1919 to Dr. Henry Merritt Wriston and Ruth Colton Bigelow. Dr. Wriston graduated from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1942. Dr. Wriston is best known for serving as the CEO of Citicorp and its subsidiary, Citibank. Wriston graduated from Wesleyan University in 1941. Following his time at Fletcher, Wriston worked for a year as a U.S. State Department officer, and then pursued a four-year tour with the U.S. Army during World War II. Wriston joined Citibank in 1946 as a junior inspector in the Comptroller's Division. He was assigned to the National Division of Citibank in 1949, and was promoted several times over the next seven years, becoming the Vice President of the division in 1954. In 1956, Wriston joined Citibank's Overseas Division. A series of promotions resulted, and Wriston was named a Senior Vice President in 1958, the head of the Overseas Division in 1959, and Executive Vice President in 1960. Wriston became President of Citibank in 1967, and subsequently held the same titles over Citicorp when it was formed as Citibank's parent corporation in 1968. Wriston was promoted from President to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Citibank in 1970, and instituted many innovations during these years, including the installation of automatic teller machines, as well as credit cards. Starting in the 1960's, Wriston held positions in several external organizations, including directorships over General Mills, General Electric Company, and Reuters Holdings PLC. Wriston was Chairman of President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board, a member and former Chairman of The Business Council, and a former co-Chairman and Policy committee member of the Business Roundtable. He was a Trustee of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a Life Governor of New York Presbyterian Hospital, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. During his years as CEO of Citicorp, Wriston was awarded honorary degrees from Brown University, Columbia University, and New York University. Wriston also began the practice of lecturing at business schools and academic institutions during this time, specializing in economics and the impact of information technology on the banking technology. His expertise lead him to testify before the U.S. Senate Committees, acting as a representative of Citibank and other banks. On September 1, 1984, Wriston retired as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Citicorp and its subsidiary, Citibank. After his retirement, Wriston continued to lecture at academic institutions, and published three books: Risk and Other Four Letter Words (1986), The Twilight of Sovereignty (1992), and Bits, Bytes, and Balance Sheets: The New Economic Rules of Engagement In a Wireless World (posth., 2007). Wriston also continued to receive several honors post retirement, including the Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush on June 23, 2004. Wriston married his first wife, Barbara Brengle, in 1942. After her death in 1966, he married Kathryn Ann Dineen in March of 1968. He had one daughter, and two grandchildren. In his personal life, he was the member of several clubs, including the Links Club, the River Club of New York, and the Palm Beach Bath and Tennis Club. Wriston passed away on January 19, 2005 in New York City.

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