The Famous and Infamous

Listed below are a few, mostly famous and one infamous, who over the years have become newsworthy. Because of space limitations, not all could be displayed at once; others will be rotated onto this page.

General Clinton B. Fisk
Gen. Clinton B. Fisk

Major General Clinton Bowen Fisk 1828-1890
Gen. Fisk was born in Griggsville, Livingston County, N.Y., Dec. 8, 1828. His parents were natives of Rhode Island, who moved to the Genesee Valley some years before his birth. His father, Benjamin Fisk, bore the title of Captain, and his great-grandfather was a Major General in the army of Washington. He was named Clinton after New-York's Governor. While little more than an infant, his parents moved to Michigan and settled in Lenawee County, at a place they called Clinton. When Clinton was six years of age his father died and his mother shortly afterward lost the bulk of her property. Thus it happened when nine years old Clinton apprentices himself until he was twenty-one to Farmer Wright.

He was a friend of both Grant and Lincoln. He was Col of the 33rd Missouri Infantry. He seized Camp Jackson and fought in Tennessee and Missouri. He served under Grant in the siege of Vicksburg. Later he was placed in command of the District of St. Louis, and, while holding this position, defeated Sterling Price in his attack on Jefferson City. He was made Brevet Major General of Volunteers in 1865.

After the war he was appointed to the Freedman’s Bureau. In 1866 he opened a barracks as a charter school for Negroes that became Fisk University. Grant also appointed him President of Board of Indian Commissioners.

In 1866 he resigned from the army and became Vice President and Treasurer of the Missouri Pacific and Atlantic and Pacific Railway Companies, positions that he held until 1876. After that he became interested in a number of banking, mining, and land operations, and had added materially to his previously large fortune. His country house and grounds on Remsen Hill, near Seabright, N.J., are among the finest in the country.

He was known to have an "aversion to drink and profanity" and was "an ardent Methodist." He ran for President in 1888 as a Prohibition Party presidential candidate.

He died of complications of influenza at his home in New York City in 1890.

Carlton Fisk
Carlton E. Fisk - Baseball Hall of Fame

Carlton Ernest Fisk
Baseball Hall of Fame
Carlton “Pudge” Fisk was born December 26, 1947 in Bellows Falls, Vermont. He grew up on a farm with his three brothers and two sisters. His father was a machinist and part-time farmer. Carlton’s father was also an outstanding tennis player, who imparted his love of sports to his children. Carlton’s mother was an excellent softball player.

Carlton became a basketball star in high school, and upon graduation he was given a basketball scholarship to the University of New Hampshire. Carlton’s dream was to play for the Boston Celtics. He also went out for baseball in college, and to his surprise, after playing fewer than 100 games, he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox.

Fisk became Boston’s starting catcher in 1972, and he was named American League Rookie of the Year. The highlight of Fisk’s career with the Red Sox came in game six in the World Series; Fisk hit the winning home run in the 12th inning, giving the Red Sox a 7-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

In 1980, Fisk became a free agent and signed a $3.5 million, five year contract with the Chicago White Sox. He traded in his familiar number 27 for the number 72. He broke several records while playing for the White Sox, including the distinction of having caught more games than any other player. He is one of three catchers - Bench, Yogi Berra, and Fisk all hit at least 300 home runs. Fisk was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Lord William Fiske
Lord William Fiske - Creator of the English Monetary Decimal System - Click on the Image to Read his Listing in Wikipedia
Jim Fisk, Jr.
"Jubilee" Jim Fisk

James Fisk, Jr. 1835 – 1872
Wall Street Tycoon – Philanthropist - Militia Leader – Broadway Producer – Robber Baron

Never before or since in Wall Street history has there ever been a more audacious and flamboyant con man than “Jubilee” Jim Fisk.

He was born on April 1, 1835 (some thought the date prophetic) in Pownal, Vermont. His father was a peddler, a trade that was quickly picked up by Jim. Soon, he was employing others to do the peddling.

He went on to sell goods of questionable quality to the Union Army while amassing a fortune by smuggling cotton and Confederate bonds to the Europeans. He went into a partnership with another robber baron, Daniel Drew, and together they founded the brokerage house of Fisk & Belden in New York. They gained control of the Erie Railroad and were soon selling watered-down stock.

Fisk lost much of his fortune when he and Jay Gould attempted to corner the world’s gold market in 1868-1869. Their scheme collapsed when President Grant released government gold reserves onto the open market.

Jim Fisk died in the flamboyant manner in which he lived. He was shot and killed on the grand staircase of the Grand Central Hotel by Ned Stokes, a rival lover for the attentions of Josie Mansfield, Jim Fisk’s mistress.

Admiral Bradley Allen Fiske
Admiral Bradley A. Fiske

Rear Admiral Bradley Allen Fiske 1854 - 1942
He was born at Lyons, New York on June 13, 1854, the son of Rev William Allen and Susan (Bradley) Fiske. He received appointment from Ohio to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1874.
Fiske is credited with inventing many devices that are used in modern navies. His inventions include an electrically powered gun turret, a naval telescopic sight, an electromagnetic system for detonating torpedoes under ships, the electric range finder, and the torpedo plane. He strongly believed that torpedo planes would lead to decisive naval victories, a fact that he lived to see in early WWII. He was forced to retire in 1916 when his agitation for a stronger navy clashed with the policies of Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels. The destroyer escort, the USS Fiske, was named after him. Ironically, it was torpedoed in 1944.

He died at New York City April 6, 1942 and was buried in
Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Josephine Harper Fiske (1858-1919) is buried with him.

Billy Fiske RAF
Billy Fiske

William Meade Lindsley Fiske III (Billy Fiske) 1911-1940

In the lower portion of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London lies the black marble sarcophagus of Admiral Lord Nelson, hero of Trafalgar. A few steps away, there is a plaque commemorating another hero who also died in battle. The plaque reads: PILOT OFFICER, WILLIAM MEADE LINDSLEY FISKE III, ROYAL AIR FORCE, An American Citizen Who Died That England Might Live.

Billy Fiske had the distinction of the being the first American killed in WWII. He was born on June 4, 1911 in Chicago, IL. His family were investment bankers, so he was afforded the best in education, attending schools in the U.S., France, and eventually in England.

In 1928, the 16 year-old Fiske led the U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team to victory at St. Moritz. In 1932, Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt watched as Billy Fiske carried the flag for the American team at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY. The American team again won the Gold medal.

In 1939, England declared war on Germany, so Billy signed on as a pilot with the RAF. He soon distinguished himself as a fighter pilot with the 601 Squadron that was stationed at Tangmere. On August 16, German Stukas attacked the Tangmere Aerodrome. As the battle ended, Fiske’s plane caught fire as he was landing. Billy Fiske died four days later, and he was buried in Boxgrove Cemetery in Sussex, England.

Clive Fiske
Clive Fiske Harrison
Clive Fiske Harrison is a London banker of whom The Times's financial editor wrote, following his prediction of the collapse of the Stock Exchange in 2008: “One person whose views I respect is Clive Fiske Harrison who runs Fiske & Co, the stockbroker. Harrison has spent no less than 47 years in the stock market.”

Clive was born in Colchester, Essex in 1939 to William Henry Fiske Harrison and Evelyn née Stubbs. William's father, John Harrison was a wealthy merchant, town councilor and Justice of the Peace who had married Ellen Rebecca Fisk, daughter of Frederick Green Fisk, Esq., of the Cratfield Branch of the family in Suffolk.

Clive was educated at Felsted School in Essex and Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge (whose alumni include one of Clive's uncles and also his fourth cousin, the famous American WWII RAF flyer Billy Fiske). On graduating with a degree in History, he entered the City, joining one of the oldest English stockbrokers, Panmure Gordon, in 1961, and became a full member of the Stock Exchange in 1965.

In 1973 he founded Fiske & Company, with himself as senior partner. In 2000 he listed the company on the stock exchange, becoming a publicly traded company with Clive as Chief Executive. He also joined the UK Securities Institute that year. In 2001 the financial news service Bloomberg named Fiske plc the top stockbroker in the City of London. In November 2008 Clive became Chairman as well as CEO and Fiske plc currently has over £500 million under investment.

Clive married the Australian sculptor Barbara Gail Horne in 1965. They had three sons, Byron Anthony Fiske Harrison (b.1967) who is also a banker, Jules William Fiske Harrison (b. 1969) who died in a skiing accident in 1988, and Alexander Rupert Fiske-Harrison (b. 1976) who is an actor and writer. Clive lives in London and Essex.

His entry in Debretts lists him as a member of the Garrick Club in London and his entry in Burkes lists his coat of arms, granted by the Royal College of Heralds, as a combination of the arms of his two sets of relations: the Fiskes of Laxfield, Suffolk and the Harrisons of Copford, Essex.

Eliot Fisk
Eliot Fisk - Click Image

Eliot Fisk
Eliot Fisk, a charismatic virtuoso, has brought an entirely new dimension to classical guitar performance. He is a prolific recording artist and is known world-wide for his imaginative and innovative approach that he inherited from his legendary mentor, Andrés Segovia. Fisk has given command performances for several heads of state, including President Clinton.

Eliot was born to George and Neva Fisk of Philadelphia. He earned his BA (summa cum laude) and MM from Yale, and immediately upon graduation in 1977, he was asked to found the guitar department at the Yale School of Music. In 1974 he was introduced to his idol, Andrés Segovia, who coached him privately for several years. Segovia wrote, “I consider Eliot Fisk as one of the most brilliant, intelligent and gifted young artists of our time, not only among guitarists but in all the general field of instrumentalists…”

Eliot Fisk lives with his wife, Estela, and their
two-year-old daughter, Raquel, in Boston, Salzburg and Granada.

Minnie Maddern Fiske
Minnie Maddern Fiske

Minnie Maddern Fiske 1865-1932
First Lady of the American Stage
She was born in New Orleans on December 19, 1865. Her father was a theatrical manager, and her mother was a well-known musician. By the age of 16, Minnie Maddern Fiske was a star on New York’s Broadway. In 1890, she married Harrison Grey Fiske, the editor of the Dramatic Mirror. Together, they bought their own theatre, the Manhattan. Mrs. Fiske performed there for many years while in between her tours. She became the most famous stage actress of her time. She was noted for her roles in many of Ibsen’s plays, and later Mrs. Fiske turned to comedic roles.

She was an ardent activist for animal rights. She single handedly brought an end to the killing of egrets for their plumage, which was used to make women’s hats. She even prevailed upon Mark Twain to write stories critical of bull fighting.

She starred in several early silent movies made by Edison. One role was that of Tess in Tess of the D’urbervilles.

She died at her home in Long Island, N.Y. on February 15, 1932.

John Fiske
John Fiske - Historian and Philosopher

John Fiske 1842 – 1901
Historian and Philosopher
John Fiske adopted his mother’s maiden name, which was Fisk without the “e.” When the Connecticut Legislature approved the name change, they erroneously spelled it Fiske, so John Fisk became John Fiske.

His father died when John was 10. His mother then married Edwin Wallace Stoughton, Minister to Russia. John was a precocious child, learning several languages by his early teens. He was obsessed with learning.

He wrote many books on early American history, and he became one of the world’s foremost philosophers. Charles Darwin had rocked the religious world with his “Origin of the Species,” but John Fiske was soon to follow with the philosophy that God and evolution were compatible. His ideas were eagerly embraced, and soon he was lecturing throughout the world. He was a friend of Charles Darwin and Aldous Huxley.

Fiske died on July 4, 1901 in Massachusetts. On the famous John Muir Trail, near Yosemite National Park, are several mountains named after great thinkers. One of those mountains is named Mt. Fiske, named for John Fiske.

Daniel Willard Fiske chess
Daniel Willard Fiske

Daniel Willard Fiske 1831 – 1904
Fiske is a household word in Iceland, because of an American professor who had a deep interest in their language and culture. He was a linguist, who developed his interest in Iceland while attending college in Sweden in 1850. Fiske founded Cornell University’s first library. He amassed a large collection of books on Icelandic history, culture, language, and mythology, which he eventually donated to Cornell. This collection is now being digitized with the help of a grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Iceland Ministry of Culture.

Fiske was also an associate of Paul Morphy, the leading chess player in the world at that time. Fiske authored several books on chess, including accounts of the First Chess Congress, the first international tournament played in the U.S. He and Morphy co-authored the first chess magazine in the United States. The Daniel Willard Fiske Memorial Chess Tournament is an annual event in Iceland.