Bernard Baruch was born on August 19, 1870 in Camden, South Carolina. His family moved to New York City and he went to City College of New York. He went to work for A.A. Housmand & Company. He was able to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. Baruch became a millionaire before his thirtieth birthday, via his rise through the Wall Street ranks. As head of the War Industries Board during World War I, Baruch played a pivotal role in the course of the US economy. Although he was offered the post of Treasury Secretary by Franklin Roosevelt, he declined in favor of remaining an unofficial advisor, a role he continued through the presidency of John Kennedy.