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James Buchanan "Diamond Jim" Brady

James Buchanan "Diamond Jim" Brady


Brady, an American financier and benefactor to Johns Hopkins, was born in New York City.

Brady worked as a bellhop and in various jobs with the New York Central Railroad before taking a sales position with a railroad supply house. A successful salesman, he drew huge commissions and soon was a multimillionaire. As his wealth increased, so did his generosity and his penchant for the good life. He invested much of his fortune in jewelry, mostly diamonds. Rarely seen in public without one or more of his great gems prominently displayed, he acquired the nickname “Diamond Jim” and became a legendary and popular figure in New York City.

Having been a grateful patient at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, he donated $220,000 for the establishment of a urological institute in 1912. Named in his honor, the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute opened in 1915.

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