It all began on April 12, 1845, when the foundation was laid for a new enterprise that would come to be known as the New York Life Insurance Company, Elected Secretary Lewis Benton purchased the first policy for $5,000. So began a legacy of security and a commitment to keeping promises reflected still today in our core values.
As President and Chairman (1907–1932) Darwin P. Kingsley said, “When will New York Life be finished? Never! Its foundations are as deep as human love; its spires disappear in unfulfilled dreams of human aspiration; its great arches support an expanding nave which can cover and protect all who come.”
That passion and commitment to protection have continued unabated for nearly two centuries. We’ve seen the nation evolve and events occur that affect the lives of Americans: from the Civil War, to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, to the 1929 stock market crash, to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, 9/11, and of course, the recent recession.
The company’s 170th anniversary follows on the heels of a record–setting financial year in which we added more to our surplus, becoming stronger than we’ve ever been.