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Neil Starr | Cornelius Vander Starr | Lionbliss Research


Cornelius Vander Starr (October 15, 1892 – December 20, 1968), sometimes known as Neil Starr, was an American businessman and founder of C.V. Starr & Co. (later known as Starr Companies) in Shanghai, China, which became AIG. AIG grew from an initial market value of $300 million to $180 billion, becoming the largest insurance company in the world.

Starr Companies

In 2000, Mark Fritz wrote in the article entitled The Secret (Insurance) Agent Men for the Los Angeles Times:

"They knew which factories to burn, which bridges to blow up, which cargo ships could be sunk in good conscience. They had pothole counts for roads used for invasion and head counts for city blocks marked for incineration. They weren't just secret agents. They were secret insurance agents. These undercover underwriters gave their World War II spymasters access to a global industry that both bankrolled and, ultimately, helped bring down Adolf Hitler's Third Reich."[5]
  • After World War II, Starr hired O.S.S. captain Duncan Lee, a lawyer, who became the long-term general counsel of AIG.

  • AIG left China in early 1949, as Mao led the advance of the Communist People's Liberation Army on Shanghai,[7][8] and Starr moved the company headquarters to its current home in New York City.[9] AIG was the world's largest insurance company, and as of 2021 remains unchallenged in that respect.[10]


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