Wriston, Walter B.
- Existence: 1919 -- 2005 - 2005
Abstract:Walter B. Wriston retired as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Citicorp and its principal subsidiary, Citibank, N.A. on September 1, 1984, after having served as Chief Executive Officer for 17 years and in various other positions with the company for 38 years. <p>Walter B. Wriston was born in Middletown, Connecticut, on August 3, 1919 to Dr. Henry Merritt Wriston and Ruth Colton Bigelow. Dr. Wriston (1889-1978) was president of Brown University from 1937-1955. Walter B. Wriston had an older sister Barbara. He graduated from Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Following a year's service as a U. S. State Department officer and a four-year tour with the U.S. Army during World War II, he joined Citibank in 1946 as a junior inspector in the Comptroller's Division. </p> <p>Wriston was assigned to the National Division in 1949 and served in the division's Canadian and Transportation districts for seven years, becoming an Assistant Cashier in 1950, an Assistant Vice President in 1952 and a Vice President in 1954. </p> <p>Wriston joined the bank's Overseas Division in 1956, heading the European District for three years, and was named a Senior Vice President in 1958. The following year he was made head of the Overseas Division and was appointed Executive Vice President in 1960. Wriston became President and Chief Executive Officer of the bank in 1967 and of the corporation when it was formed in 1968. He became Chairman in 1970. During his tenure as Chairman, he instituted a number of banking innovations such as the negotiable certificate of deposit, automatic teller machines (ATMs), and credit cards.</p> <p>Wriston was Director of ICOS Corporation, Cygnus, Inc. and Vion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He 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.</p> <p>Wriston retired as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Citicorp and its principal subsidiary, Citibank, N.A. on September 1, 1984, after having served as Chief Executive Officer for 17 years and in various other positions with the company for 38 years.</p> <p>Mr. Wriston was awarded honorary degrees from Brown University, Columbia University, and Hamilton College. While at Citibank and after his retirement, he lectured at business schools and in other academic institutions. He spoke avidly on economics and the impact of information technology on the banking industry. He testified before U.S. Senate Committees representing Citibank and other banks.</p> <p>Wriston was also a writer, whose work <span class="i">Risk and Other Four Letter Words</span>, is a collection of essays published by Harper & Row, and <span class="i">The Twilight of Sovereignty</span> published by Charles Scribner's Sons. Prior to his death in 2005, he was working on a third book, <span class="i">Bits, Bytes, and Balance Sheets: The New Economic Rules of Engagement In a Wireless World.</span> The text will be published posthumously by Hoover Press.</p> <p>Wriston married Kathryn Ann Dineen in March, 1968. His first wife, the Barbara Brengle, died in 1966. He had one daughter, Catherine W. Quintal (Mrs. Richard M.), and two grandchildren, Christopher Wriston Quintal and Barbara Catherine Quintal. He was a member of the Links Club, University Club, River Club of New York, Sky Club, Ocean Club of Ocean Ridge, Florida and the Palm Beach Bath and Tennis Club. Wriston passed away on January 19, 2005 in New York City.</p> <p>Prior to his death, Wriston was honored with the Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush on June 23, 2004.</p>
Found in 641 Collections and/or Records:
Item — Box 35: Series MS134.006 [Barcode: 39090014014506]
Call Number: MS134.006.035.00001
Scope and Contents Back Row: Henry Merritt Wriston (Walter B. Wriston's father) Front Row: Barbara Wriston (Walter B. Wriston's sister); Ruth Bigelow Wriston (Walter B. Wriston's mother); and Walter B. Wriston. Photot taken during Henry Merritt Wriston's presidency at Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin). The image was created from 'File2816' from the CD titled 'Walter B. Wriston Photographs - CD 1'.