He started a salon business and played baseball on his high school team.
He was the first chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and directed the Maritime Commission. He was the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1938 until 1940.
He married Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald, daughter of a prominent New York mayor, and had nine children.
He bitterly opposed Father Charles Coughlin's anti-Communist, anti-Semitic, anti-Federal Reserve, isolationist radio program.