Former Goldman Sachs chief dies at 92

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

John Whitehead, a former senior partner and co-chairman of Goldman Sachs who helped make it a top-tier Wall Street firm and led its international expansion, has died, the investment bank said on Saturday. He was 92.

Whitehead joined Goldman Sachs in 1947 and worked his way to the highest rung of its corporate ladder before leaving after 38 years to become a deputy secretary of state under U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

He was a chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a member of the board of the New York Stock Exchange. Active in political and philanthropic circles, he also served as chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp after the World Trade Center was destroyed during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

"We grieve the loss of John Whitehead and honor his achievements and contributions in service to his country and Goldman Sachs," Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement.

"He was a man of enormous grace and integrity and his legacy will endure in the institutions he led and in the lives of those he cared for and mentored."

Whitehead joined Goldman when its service offerings were almost exclusively in commercial paper and over the years identified new business lines including such things as mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings, according to Harvard Business School, from which he graduated in 1947.