This month in New York Life history—July.

New York Life | July 1, 2020

Image of the Seguros Monterrey New York Life tower in Mexico City.

At New York Life

July 22: 
New York Life’s Impact Investment Initiative Commits $50 million to IMPACT Community Capital in support of affordable housing preservation.

July 20:
Craig DeSanto Elected New York Life President by Board of Directors.

July 31:
Seguros Monterrey New York Life (SMNYL), New York Life’s wholly owned Mexican subsidiary, opened New York Life Tower in Mexico City. The 32-story building received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (L.E.E.D) certification as a green building. It houses approximately 2,500 employees and agents.

July 1:
Theodore “Ted” Mathas became CEO of New York Life, retaining the title of president as well. His predecessor, Sy Sternberg, remained chairman for another year to assist the transition.

July 29:
In the middle of a devastating flood in the American Midwest after the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers overflowed, the New York Life Foundation pledged $100,000 to the Red Cross to aid relief efforts, as well as a program to match employee and agent contributions.

Jul 20:
Dam failures caused flooding in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the same area hit by a catastrophic flood in 1889. Although fortunately the death toll was small compared to the earlier disaster, hundreds of people were left homeless. New York Life officials flew to the area to administer policies and make loans, and lapsed premiums were given a grace period. The company would begin doing the same thing in California only six days later, when wildfires struck Santa Barbara.

July 1:
New York Life entered the market for group life insurance. The first policy was issued July 1, 1951 for the 425 employees of the World Bank. Group policies had been gaining in popularity as employment benefits since World War II.

Jul 12:
Future U.S. President and New York Life Director Calvin Coolidge took out his first New York Life policy while still a student in Vermont. Coolidge was one of at least nine U.S. presidents to hold a New York Life policy. After Coolidge retired from the presidency, he joined New York Life’s Board of Directors.

Around the World

July 20:
A global audience watched on television as Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong took his first step onto the moon. As he stepped onto the moon's surface he proclaimed, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." 

July 2:
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations, publicly owned or operated facilities, employment and union membership and in voter registration. The Act allowed for cutoff of Federal funds in places where discrimination remained.

July 25:
The world's first international overseas airplane flight was achieved by Louis Bleriot in a small monoplane. After asking, "Where is England?" he took off from France and landed in England near Dover, where he was greeted by British police.

July 31:
The U.S. Patent Office first opened its doors. The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont for a new method of making pearlash and potash. The patent was signed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

July 14:
The fall of the Bastille occurred at the beginning of the French Revolution.

July 4:
The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress.


Top photo: The Seguros Monterrey New York Life tower in Mexico City.


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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937