Sydney-born former World Bank boss James D. Wolfensohn dies

By Shannon Jenkins

November 26, 2020

James Wolfensohn (AAP Image/Laura Friezer)

Prominent Australian banker and philanthropist James David Wolfensohn has died in his Manhattan home, aged 86.

Wolfensohn was born in Sydney in 1933 and studied at the University of Sydney before graduating from Harvard Business School in 1959 .

Prior to serving as president of World Bank Group from 1995 to 2005, Wolfensohn established a distinguished career as an international investment banker, served as chair of New York City’s Carnegie Hall, and became a naturalised US citizen in 1980.

During his time leading World Bank, Wolfensohn “sharpened its focus on poverty reduction and redoubled its efforts to combat corruption, give voice to the poor, and magnify the impact of development investments”, according to current president David Malpass.

He passed away on November 25, surviving his children Sara, Naomi, and Adam, and seven grandchildren.

His wife, Elaine, died in August this year.

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