George Shinn

George Latimer Shinn

1923-2013 George Latimer Shinn, 90, died in Scarborough, Maine, on December 16, 2013. He was a former leader in the international investment-banking world and a man with great love for life, learning, and family. George was born March 12, 1923 in Newark Ohio, the son of Leon Powell Shinn and Bertha Latimer Shinn. After graduating from Newark High School in 1941, he entered Amherst College as a scholarship student (class of 1945) with a pre-med major. During his second year there he left to enlist in the Marine Corp. He served as a naval aviator for three and a half years, mostly in the role of flight instructor. He retained his pilot's license and continued flying throughout his life. After returning to Amherst at war's end, George graduated as an English major in 1948. On a blind date at a baseball game he met Clara "Sammie" Sampson, a student at nearby Mount Holyoke College. They married in 1949. George entered the training program at Merrill Lynch in Boston in 1948. He stayed with Merrill for 27 years, working his way up to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer in New York. In 1975 he was recruited to head the First Boston Corporation (later Credit Suisse), acting as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. In 1983, at age 60, he surprised the Wall Street community by retiring from First Boston and going back to school. He earned his PhD from Drew University in 1992, focusing in American Intellectual History. In the 1990s he taught investment banking seminars at Columbia University and American literature courses at Drew University. George remained devoted to Amherst College throughout his life and was a Trustee there for 15 years. While acting as Board Chairman he championed the controversial switch to coeducation for the all-male college in 1975. Among his many other professional affiliations, he was a member of the board of The New York Stock Exchange, The New York Times, the New York Philharmonic, and the National Council for the Humanities. George believed strongly in philanthropic obligations. As a self-made man, he realized the value of education and was a long time supporter of Amherst College, Drew University, and many other schools and educational organizations. His business associates will remember George as a dynamic individual, usually sporting a bow tie and working at his stand-up desk. He was an old-school gentleman who had an uncanny ability to remember everyone's name. To his friends and family he was always ready with a joke or a crazy scheme for fun. He loved playing his bagpipes and his tin whistle. Some of his favorite activities were playing tennis, skiing, sailing along the coast of Maine, and piloting his own planes. George and Sammie moved to Piper Shores in Scarborough, Maine in 2002, after spending summers in the area for fifty years. They had been long time residents of Morristown, New Jersey and of Manchester, Vermont. George is survived by his five children: Deborah S. Shinn, Amy L. Shinn, Martha S. Moore, Sarah Shinn Pratt, Andrew L. Shinn; and his five grandchildren: Abra, Miranda, James, Henry, and Samantha. His wife of 61 years, Sammie, and a granddaughter Nora predeceased him. The family would like to express their appreciation to the compassionate staff at Piper Shores and to the wonderful caregivers from Ageing Excellence. A memorial service will take place in the spring. For those wishing to honor George's memory, a gift in his name may be made to the Scarborough Land Trust, P.O. Box 1237, Scarborough, ME 04070.

Published in The Manchester Journal from Jan. 3 to Jan. 24, 2014