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Eliot Grant Fitch

c. mid 20th century

Oil on canvas. Older man shown sitting inside wearing a blue jacket and red bowtie

Eliot Grant Fitch was the son of Ida Eliot  and Grant Fitch and was born on March 12, 1895. He entered Yale in 1914, left in 1917 to serve as a lieutenant of field artillery in France, and returned to graduate from Yale in 1920. He received a master’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1922. In 1923 he began his banking career in the National Exchange Bank founded by his grandfather in 1857; when he retired at the age of seventy-seven in 1972, he was chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the Marine National Exchange Bank and the Marine Corporation. Fitch was very active in Milwaukee’s civic, cultural, and financial affairs. He was a past president of the Citizens’ Governmental Research Bureau and a trustee for more than twenty-five years. As a member of the City Land Commission he headed the Milwaukee County Expressway expansion. He helped initiate the redevelopment of downtown Milwaukee in many ways including commisioning the architect Eliel Saarinen to design the War Memorial on the Milwaukee lakefront which housed the Milwaukee Art Museum, to which he contributed works of art from his own collections. From a long line of influential Milwaukee citizens, Eliot Grant Fitch continued the tradition of progress his family had practiced in the city since its pioneer days. He passed away in 1983 in Milwaukee.