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March Speaker Series: George Fabyan - Geneva Tycoon

George Fabyan: Geneva Tycoon among History’s Top Ten Interesting Millionaires

presented by Dick Munson

was held on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 from 7:00 – 8:30 PM in the Lower Meeting Room at the Geneva Library, 127 James Street, Geneva, IL.

This biography of George Fabyan was written by suburban Chicago writer Dick Munson. He examines the life of Fabyan, a Gilded Age tycoon who launched the top-secret National Security Agency and changed the way we wage wars and keep secrets, how we transmit sound and design buildings, and how we stimulate scientific advances. Fortune Magazine ranked Fabyan among history’s top ten most interesting millionaires.

Colonel Fabyan and his Riverbank Laboratories along the Fox River housed U.S. cryptography during World War I, broke German codes, and captured foreign terrorists. They also designed the acoustics for major auditoriums and created the tuning forks that synchronized long-distance communications. He received the French Medal of Honor, Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, as well as commendations from the U.S. government.

Dick Munson reveals how the cotton tycoon inspired a “community of thinkers” who advanced science in such diverse fields as acoustics, cryptography, genetics, and physiology. Yet the whimsical Fabyan also constructed a levitation machine that tried to defy gravity, and he spent millions “proving” Sir Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Richard Munson is the author of From Edison to Enron, a history of the electricity industry; The Cardinals of Capitol Hill, a behind-the-scenes look at congressional appropriators; and Cousteau: The Captain and His World, a biography of the undersea explorer. Munson can be reached at

The evening will include a short reception, introduction of the Geneva Library Foundation, the presentation, and a Q&A session. This is a free event.

Click here to Register for free!

The Geneva Library Foundation was established in 2005 as a charitable organization to provide support for current and future library materials, services and facilities. It is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c) (3) charitable organization. With a goal of raising $1 million by 2016 and $2 million by 2021, the GLF is committed to providing a substantial, permanent, and stable source of funds to support the Geneva Public Library.

Cynthia Wade, 708-989-4439,