Jacob Blaustein (born 1892)

Father was Louis Blaustein - " (January 16, 1869–1937) was an American businessman and philanthropist who founded the American Oil Company (AMOCO)."


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Jacob Blaustein Is Dead at 78; Founder of the American Oil Co.

BALTIMORE, Nov. 15—Jacob Blaustein, founder of the Amer ican Oil Company and a presi dent of the American Jewish Committee, died tonight at his farm. He was 78 years old.

Influential on Many Fronts

After founding American Oil in 1910 and after seeing his en terprise turn from a small localized company into one a the giants of the oil industry Jacob Blaustein turned to hi: other interests.

He helped talk Vyacheslav Molotov, the Soviet Union's. Foreign Minister, into accept ing the human rights articles of the United Nations Charter when that body was still in its conceptual stages in San Fran cisco in 1945.

He helped to convince Pre mier David Ben‐Gurion of Israel to accept the United Nations plan to partition Palestine in 1948.

And later he negotiated with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany the payment of more than $10‐billion in repa rations to the survivors of Adolf Hitler's war crimes.

But basically, Mr. Blaustein was neither a diplomat nor a professional fund‐raiser nor an adviser to five United States Presidents—he was “an oil man.”

Fueled Lindbergh's Plane

Jacob Blaustein was born Sept. 30, 1892, in Baltimore, the son of Louis and Henrietta Blaustein. His father had come to the United States from Lith uania, and after working as a peddler in eastern Pennsylvania, settled in Baltimore, where he opened a wholesale grocery store.

Louis Blaustein later went to work for a small oil jobber in Maryland, but Standard Oil (N. J.) soon wiped his employer out of business, and shortly thereafter, with his son, started a new company—American Oil.

Despite the impressive name, the new oil company consisted basically of three men, a small tank wagon and a horse, all operating out of a converted stable. The three were Louis and Jacob Blaustein and the horse driver.

Thanks to numerous innova tions, the company grew quickly. It opened the first drive‐in gasoline station in the United States, on Cathedral Street in Baltimore. Then, a gasoline pump complete with meter reading in dollars and gallons. And, finally, its great est innovation — anti‐knock gasoline.

They called It Amoco, still Icing sold at American Oil sta tions, and it blended benzol, a coke by‐product with the gaso line. This Amoco powered Charles A. Lindbergh across the atlantic Ocean in his Spirit of, St. Louis in 1927.

Within five years, the Blaus teins were embroiled in their first major court battle, with Standard Oil (N.J.), which through a variety of intricate financial maneuvers had man aged to gain partial control of the fledgling company. The suits dragged on for 17 years, during which American con tinued to grow.

Finally, in 1954, American Oil became a totally owned subsidiary of the Standard Oil Company. Through various other family controlled enter prises, Mr. Blaustein also owned a fleet of oil tankers, oil wells in Texas and Louisiana and several manufacturing' companies. He had vast real estate holdings in Baltimore, San Diego, Dallas and Los Angeles and was a controlling stockholder of the Union Trust Company of Baltimore.

In 1945, his diplomatic career began when President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked him to at tend the formative meetings of the United Nations as a con sultant to the United States delegation.

In 1948, when President Harry S. Truman was debating whether to seek election as President, he called in six people to advise him. Mr. Blaustein was one.

The next year, he became president of the American Jew ish Committee, and it was in this capacity that he negotiated with Chancellor Adenauer and continued his talks with Jewish leaders over the Palestinian, by that time, the Israeli, question.

In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed him regular member of the United States delegation to the United Nations, where he spent more time confronting the Russians “head to head.”

‘Stick to Your Guns

“With the Russians you have to make sure you're right and then stick to your guns no mat ter what,” Mr. Blaustein said. “If you deal from strength, you may or may not win your point, but at least they will respect you, if you evidence weakness, you gain neither.”

He had also been an adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Lyn don B. Johnson.

After his retirement as presi dent of the American Jewish Committee in 1954, Mr. Blau stein continued as honorary president of the organization to his death. He also continued his membership on the boards of the various companies he headed and in many cases founded.

He is survived by his widow, the former Hilda Van Leer Katz; a son, Dr. Morton K. Blaustein of Baltimore; two daughters, Mrs. David Hirschhorn of Balti more and Mrs. Arthur E. Ros well of Somerville,: N. J. a sis ter, Mrs. Henry Rosenberg of Baltimore, and eight grand children.

A funeral service is scheduled at noon Wednesday at Temple Oheb shalom in Baltimore.



Friday, September 30, 1892


Baltimore, MD

Date of Death:

Sunday, November 15, 1970


B.S. Mining Engineering



Notable Achievement:

Incorporated AMOCO with father; human rights activist