DBD 05-17-2022: Giannini

This is Giannini Hall - built in the 1930s and named after Amadeo P. Giannini. Amadeo was born in San Jose in 1870 to farmers who had 40 acres of land. He dropped out of Heald College and became a successful produce broker for his stepfather. He married the daughter of a North Beach real estate magnate and retired at the age of 31 to administer his father-in-law’s estate, which included a controlling stake in a bank. Giannini disagreed with other directors, who did not want to loan to immigrants. Giannini quit and started his own bank - Bank of Italy (of San Francisco) in 1904. The bank expanded, which included a merger with an LA-based bank called Bank of America, becoming its Chairman. In 1928, Giannini founded Transamerica Corp. Giannini retired from BofA in 1945 but was able to witness the building of his namesake building on the Berkeley campus. He died in 1949 and is buried in Colma.