Godfrey Lowell Cabot

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Godfrey Lowell Cabot

Birthplace: Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
Death: 1962 (101)
Immediate Family:

Son of Dr. Samuel Cabot III and Hannah Lowell Jackson
Husband of Maria Buckminster Moors
Father of Eleanor Cabot; John Moors Cabot, U.S. Ambassador and Thomas Dudley Cabot
Brother of Lilla Cabot Perry; Arthur Tracy Cabot; Samuel Cabot, IV; James Jackson Cabot; Helen Jackson Cabot and 2 others

Occupation: founder of Cabot Corporation
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Godfrey Lowell Cabot


Godfrey Lowell Cabot (February 26, 1861 - November 2, 1962) was an American industrialist and philanthropist, who founded the Cabot Corporation.

Early life

Cabot born in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was Dr. Samuel Cabot III, an eminent surgeon, and his mother was Hannah Lowell Jackson Cabot. He had seven siblings: three being, Lilla Cabot (b. 1848), among the first American impressionist artists, Samuel Cabot IV (b. 1850), chemist and founder of Valspar's Cabot Stains, and Dr. Arthur Tracy Cabot (b. 1852), a progressive surgeon.

Cabot attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a year, before graduating from Harvard University with a S.B. in Chemistry, in 1882. He was a famous aviation pioneer and World War I U.S. Navy pilot. He also founded the Aero Club of New England.


Cabot founded Godfrey L. Cabot, Inc. and its successor, Cabot Corporation, in 1882. It became an industrial empire which included carbon black plants and tens of thousands of acres of land rich in gas, oil, and other minerals; 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of pipeline; seven corporations with worldwide operations; three facilities for converting natural gas into gasoline; and a number of research laboratories.

By 1890, Cabot Corporation, had become America's fourth largest producer of carbon black, which was used in products, such as inks, shoe polishes, and paints. But with the subsequent advent and popularity of cars, carbon black became in much greater demand as six pounds of it was required in the production of a single tire, and Cabot's incomes soared.

Philanthropic work

Cabot was also a significant benefactor of MIT, primarily in solar research, resulting in important discoveries in photochemistry, thermal electricity, and in the construction of experimental solar houses. He also established the Godfrey L. Cabot Award for the advancement of aviation, Harvard's Maria Moors Cabot Foundation for Botanical Research, the annual Maria Moors Cabot prize awarded by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, as well as an endowed professorship at the institution. In 1973, Harvard's Godfrey Lowell Cabot Science Library was named in his honor.

Cabot also devoted his resources to the suppression of vice and corruption in Boston. He joined the Watch and Ward Society. Under his direction of the organization in the 1920s and 1930s, it used economic, social, and legal pressures and even harassment techniques to block the sale and distribution of books which they disapproved of for moral reasons. Among the writers to which they objected were Conrad Aiken, Sherwood Anderson, John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Aldous Huxley, James Joyce, Sinclair Lewis, Bertrand Russell, Upton Sinclair, and H. G. Wells.

Cabot was associated with Calvin Coolidge from Coolidge's Boston days. There is also an audio recording of a discussion between Cabot and Dwight D. Eisenhower on the influence of public opinion on government policy, communism, the Soviet Union, aviation, and V-2 rockets in 1950, kept by the Miller Center of Public Affairs.

Personal life

In 1890, Cabot married Maria B. Moors. They had five children: James Jackson Cabot (b. 1891), Thomas Dudley Cabot (b. 1897), a businessman and philanthropist in his own right, John Moors Cabot (b. 1901), U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, Colombia, Brazil, and Poland during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administration, Eleanor Cabot of the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate and William Putnam Cabot.

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Godfrey Lowell Cabot's Timeline

Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
Age 32
Age 36
Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Age 40
Age 101