George Shelby Friedrichs
George Shelby Friedrichs, longtime New Orleans businessman and chairman of the board of Howard, Weil, Labouisse, Friedrichs, Inc. has been named Tulane University's distinguished alumnus for 1982.
A 1933 graduate of Tulane's School of Business, Friedrichs is a well-known figure in the New ORleans investment community. The 71-year-old businessman is rounding out almost four decades as a partner of Howard, Weil, Labouisse, Friedrichs, Inc., a firm he helped found in 1946.
The selection of Freidrichs as the year's distinguished alumnus is especially noteworthy because the businessman almost didn't graduate from Tulane. In the late 1920's, already deciding that he wanted to pursue a career in investment banking, Friedrichs dropped out of high school. He later said the decision came to him on a sunny afternoon while watching baseball greats Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig practicing their art on a New Orleans sandlot.
After the Great Depression hit and deepened, Friedrichs continued his education, finished high school, and eventually graduated from Tulane. As part of the federal legislative action taken to correct the precarious nature of the business and investment world, the House and Senate passed an act providing for a Securities and Exchange Commission in 1934. In New Orleans, Friedrichs was one of the first to join the SEC, for which he worked in 1935 and 1936.
"It was one of the most maddening government programs," Friedrichs recalled. "But it was great training; it was almost like an internship. After a year and a half with the SEC, you were exposed to almost all aspects of investment banking."
Friedrichs joined the firm Woolfold, Huggins and Shober in late 1936.
Alumni Relations, Tulane University, 6319 Willow Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5901 firstname.lastname@example.org