San Mateo County
LAWRENCE MARIO GIANNINI
Lawrence Mario Giannini was born in San Francisco, California November 25, 1894 the son of Amadeo Peter and Clorinda Agnes (Cuneo). He received his early education in the public schools of San Francisco, studied law at the University of California, graduating with degree of LL.B. from the Hastings College of Law in 1920; his education being further augmented by travel abroad.
From his youth he grew up in an atmosphere of banking; as his father founded the Italian Bank of California in San Francisco, California in 1904 the name soon thereafter changed to Bank of Italy. Working part time during class year and full time during vacations he had unusual opportunities to understudy clerks, tellers and minor executives. He actually started on the Bank’s payroll as a clearings clerk in 1918. During the decade following his graduation, under the leadership of his father the Bancitaly Corporation was organized and took over certain New York banks which were consolidated under the name of the Bank of America National Association. Likewise, the Bank of Italy was expanding in California, acquiring by purchase and consolidation many banks throughout the state. In 1928 the once lowly Bank of Italy and other large and small banks in California were consolidated under the name of the Bank of America of California and later the Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association. During this period Mr. Giannini’s progress was rapid and by the end of his first ten years on the actual payroll he had achieved membership of the Board of Directors. In February 1930 he was elected president of Transamerica Corporation following retirement of his father. The Corporation at that time held the stock of Bank of America. During the ensuing two years powerful Eastern interests acquired substantial stock ownership in Transamerica and endeavored to control its policies. The resulting resignation of Mr. L. M. Giannini, the return of Mr. A. P. Giannini from retirement and their victory in the famous “proxy fight” returned control to California hands. On February 15, 1932 Mr. Giannini was appointed senior vice president of the Bank of America and on January 14, 1936 was elected president, which position he held until his death. He held executive positions or directorships in many corporations prominent in the banking and insurance business as well as others dealing with the civic, cultural and social life of the community and state and several eleemosynary institutions.
Mr. Giannini was a member of the Knights of Columbus; Elks; Order of Stella della Salidarietta, Italiana; Native Sons of the Golden West; San Francisco and California Bar Associations and American Bankers Association.
His club memberships were, Bohemian, Commonwealth, Olympic and Commercial Clubs, San Francisco; Jonathan and Los Angeles Athletic Clubs, Los Angeles; Menlo Circus Club, Menlo Park; Tennis and Racquet Club, Palm Springs and Gymkhana Club, San Mateo, California.
On April 7, 1929 he married Miss Anna Mercedes Collins and their two daughters are Anne, born July 1930 and Virginia, born May 1932.
The family home was at 29 Atherton Avenue, Atherton, California and a city apartment at 945 Green Street, San Francisco, California.
Mr. Giannini died August 19, 1952.
Transcribed By: Cecelia M. Setty.
Source: “Eminent Californians 1953”, by Lee E. Johnson & C. W. Taylor. Pages 111-112, C. W. Taylor Publ., Palo Alto, California, 1953.
© 2013 Cecelia M. Setty.