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The Business of Tomorrow

The Visionary Life of Harry Guggenheim: From Aviation and Rocketry to the Creation of an Art Dynasty


The first biography of the brilliant and complex Harry Guggenheim by a veteran Forbes journalist.

At the turn of the last century, the Guggenheim family ran the most powerful mining conglomerate on earth. Decades later came the Guggenheim museum, which would become the hub of the world’s most powerful art brand.

But who was behind this transformation? It took three generations of Guggenheims to build the wealth and power in its first era. Yet it was the singular force of Harry Guggenheim who would guide the family’s next generation of businesses in to modernity. Part angel investor, part entrepreneur, part technologist, Harry launched businesses whose impact on 20th century America went far beyond the Guggenheims’ mines or museum.

His visionary investments continue to profoundly influence our world and hold valuable business lessons for billionaire dynasty builders like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, who can only aspire to match Harry’s lasting, multigenerational impact.

A flawed but brilliant man, Harry Guggenheim was the confidante to six U.S. presidents and a key financial force behind commercial aviation and space exploration, two innovations that catapulted the nation into the future. Epic and intimate, The Business of Tomorrow reveals the groundbreaking life of an American icon.

Dirk Smillie is a former senior Forbes reporter who has also worked at Guggenheim Partners. He is the author of Falwell, Inc. and lives in New York City.

  • Publisher: Pegasus Books (October 5, 2021)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781643134215

"Fascinating and insightful."

– Professor Larry J. Sabato, author of A MORE PERFECT CONSTITUTION (Praise for FALWELL INC.)

"Smart and wonderfully told.  Dirk Smillie offers a riveting, compelling tale."

– Steve Fishman, contributing editor, NEW YORK magazine, and author of KARAOKE NATION