Van Eck Mourns Its Founder
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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Van Eck Mourns Its Founder

John Van Eck, founder of Van Eck Associates has passed away at the age of 98, Bloomberg reports.

Born John Carel van Eck Jr. in San Francisco on September 15, 1915, he was the son of J.C. van Panthaleon Baron van Eck, the founder of Shell Oil Co. in the U.S. as well as managing director of the Royal Dutch Oil Co.

An alum of Williams College, and of Harvard Business School, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

According to Bloomberg Van Eck began his career as a Morgan Stanley investment banker for four years. He later joined Steckler & Moore, where he was named a partner.

He launched his first fund, International Investors Inc., in 1955, focused on international growth stocks.

Van Eck founded what the firm says was the first gold-focused mutual fund in 1968, the International Investors Gold Fund after he studied under Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises at New York University, according to the company's website.

Bloomberg notes that Van Eck was praised in the press during the gold surge of the 1970s and even appeared on the Merv Griffin show.

During his career, he held a number of other posts outside of his firm, including Mr. van Eck served as Chairman of the Foreign Analyst Committee of the New York Society of Security Analysts, Associate Editor for the Financial Analysts Journal, and as President of the New York Association of Foreign Analysts. He also served as a director of several corporations such as The Henley Group, Inc., Wheelabrator-Frye Inc., and the Eclipse Financial Trust.

He is survived by his wife, Sigrid van Eck and his son, Jan van Eck, who serves as Chief Executive Officer of Van Eck Global. He was predeceased by his son, Derek van Eck, formerly Chief Investment Officer of Van Eck Global.

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