In 1877, Charles Dana’s New York Sun reported: “He taught New Yorkers how to eat, how to drink, how to dress, how to drive four-in-hands, how to furnish their houses, how to live generally according to the rules of the possibly somewhat effete, but unquestionably refined, society of the Old World.? The subject was August Belmont, a man who ended up in the U. S. by accident, not by design, fell in love with the country, amassed a great fortune and changed New York forever. Aaron August Belmont was born in Alzey, a town in Rhein-Hessen, Germany, in 1813. His father was a farmer who extended loans to other farmers and to the gentry. When Belmont was seven, his mother died. A year later his father took him to Frankfurt to get a better education. His grandmother’s husband worked with the Rothschilds, whose banking empire extended to the capitals of Europe.