David Lamar, the original Wolf of Wall Street

David Lamar (1877 – January 12, 1934) was a con man known as the Wolf of Wall Street. In 1899, Lamar claimed one of his most famous victims, 25-year-old John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Working through George Rogers, secretary to Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Lamar convinced the younger Rockefeller to buy stock in U.S. Leather, using money he had borrowed from his father. As Rockefeller Jr. was buying, Lamar was selling, and the younger Rockefeller lost nearly $1 million.

In 1913 Lamar was under indictment in New York and was charged with impersonating a member of Congress. While working for the German Navy intelligence organization in 1915, he promoted strikes and work slowdowns in munitions plants by means of the Labor’s National Peace Council. He testified before congress for many of his schemes and a sealed enditement was eventually delivered.

Mr. Lamar was known for using intimidation and violence against people scheduled to testify against him on the many cases that were brought against him including the beating of James McMahon, a coachman for Mr. Lamar, on the courthouse steps.

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