Brief Biography

Childhood and Youth

The Equitable, 1945-1948

Schiff, Terhune & Company, 1949-1952

The Equitable, 1952-1965

Equitable Life Assurance Society
American Life Convention


Brief Biography

William Wheeler Bainbridge was born in New York City on January 11, 1914. His first school was the old Friends' Seminary in New York City. He entered the Mohegan Lake Military School at Mohegan Lake, New York, in 1925 and graduated in 1932. Beginning December 18, 1930, he was Senior Cadet Officer.

In 1933 he entered Lafayette College, and transferred to New York University in 1935. In 1937 he received both the degree of Bachelor of Science and the Business Certificate. He then entered the employ of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, at first in Detroit and then in New York.

On November 6, 1937, in New York City, he married Barbara Elizabeth Sims, daughter of William E. Sims and Mildred Elizabeth Adams (Welch) Sims of New York City. They lived briefly in Detroit, Michigan, then settle in Bethel, Connecticut, near his family's summer home. They were the parents of two children, William Sims Bainbridge, born October 12, 1940, and Barbara Constance Bainbridge, born February 17, 1943.

He entered the Army on March 30, 1944, as a private in the cavalry, having long been an expert horseman. He served at the old cavalry post Fort Riley, Kansas, becoming corporal in November, 1944, and staff sergeant in March, 1945. He trained men and horses for service in the Pacific theater of the war. His discharge came on August 1, 1945.

He returned to the Equitable, where he became Manager of the Group Casualty Coverages. In June, 1949, he became a Vice President of Schiff, Terhune and Company, the third largest general insurance brokerage firm in the United States. On January 10, 1950, his family moved to Lucas Point, Old Greenwich, Connecticut. In 1952 he returned to The Equitable and became Manager of Salary Allotment Insurance. In 1957 he was elected Second Vice President, and shortly before his untimely death in 1965 became a full Vice President of the Equitable.

At school, he excelled in sports of all kinds, especially football, basketball, and baseball. At his parents' summer home, Maple Hill Farm, he developed remarkable skill with horses, an ability that earned him many honors as well as preparing him for duty training men and horses in the First Cavalry. After his marriage, he played on the Bethel All-Stars baseball team and trained homing pigeons. When the family moved to Old Greenwich, he purchased a small sailboat of the Hurricane class, "Compass," which he entered in races in the eastern portion of Long Island Sound. Later, the family acquired an old yawl, which they named "September Song," after a nostalgic song he and his wife loved. Their second and final yacht, "Tripoli," was a Concordia yawl, which the two of them would take on week-long sails from its mooring at the Riverside Yacht Club. In the final years of his life, he returned to horseback riding, exploring the trails in the north of Greenwich and Stamford.

Childhood and Youth

March 1920, Age 6



The Equitable, 1945-1948


October 8, 1945

William W. Bainbridge Appointed Manager of Group Casualty Coverages

Continuing its post-war planning for greater Group production, the Group Department has established a new promotional division. To direct this division as Manager of Group Casualty Coverages, President Parkinson has announced the appointment of William W. Bainbridge.

In his new position Mr. Bainbridge will be in direct charge of sales of Group Accident and Health, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Hospital Expense insurance, Surgical Benefits, and the newest coverage, Group Medical Expense insurance. Through assistance to the Managerial Staff, Agency Group Supervisors, and Group-producing agents, he will endeavor to build up the production of the casualty coverages steadily.

After attending Mohegan Military School and Lafayette College, Mr. Bainbridge was graduated from New York University with the degree of B. S. in 1937; he is also a graduate of the Business School of that university. Entering the Group Department in November, 1937, as Service Supervisor, he soon was named Sales Assistant. In that position he assisted agents in Greater New York in, the closing of important Group cases, and is well-equipped for his new duties.

Mr. Bainbridge entered the United States Army in March, 1944, and received his honorable discharge recently. He is one of the first members of the Group Department to return from military service.


February 11, 1948


After attending Lafayette College and receiving a B. S. degree from NYU School of Business, William W. Bainbridge, Manager of Group Casualty Coverages, came to the Group Department of the Society after spending one year in Detroit and was then brought into the Home Office as Service Supervisor in the Metropolitan Area where he remained for the next two years. He was then transferred to the New England States in a sales capacity, stayed there for a year and a half and then returned to New York in a sales capacity.

Mr. Bainbridge entered Military Service in March, 1944, returning to the Society in William W. Bainbridge October, 1945. At that time he was placed in charge of sales of Group Accident & Health, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Hospital Expense and Surgical Benefits and Medical Expense Insurance, to assist the Managerial Staff, the Agency Group Supervisors and Group-producing, Agents for the purpose of building up the Group Casualty Coverages.

Those members of our Agency who have had the opportunity of working with Bill Bainbridge know that he does a mighty good job presenting Equitable plans. If you have Group clients who do not have full coverage, we suggest that you speak to Bill about adding the Casualty coverages.

Schiff, Terhune & Company, 1949-1952

Press Release carried by many business periodicals
June 23, 1949

The appointment of William W. Bainbridge as Vice President of Schiff, Terhune & Co., Inc., insurance brokers, was announced today by Colonel William Schiff, President. Mr. Bainbridge, who resigned his position as Manager of Group Disability Insurance at the Equitable Life Assurance Society to accept the Schiff, Terhune post, will initially reorganize and direct Schiff, Terhune's Activities in the fields of group accident, sickness, compensation, hospitalization, surgical and medical expense, and life insurance.

In addition to becoming identified as both an expert and pioneer in group insurance during his twelve-year career with Equitable, Mr. Bainbridge is also widely known as an insurance counselor in the field of industrial relations.

After attending Lafayette College, Mr. Bainbridge was graduated from New York University Business College. He became affiliated with Equitable immediately upon graduation.

Schiff, Terhune press release, February, 1951:

William W. Bainbridge of Cove Road, Old Greenwich has been named to the Executive Committee of Schiff, Terhune & Company, Inc. New York insurance brokers. Mr. Bainbridge is a vice president Schiff, Terhune. His appointment to the Executive Committee was announced by Col. William Schiff, president of the Company at the Company's executive offices, 99 John Street.

Journal of Commerce, June 20, 1951:

Production Head Named by Schiff, Terhune Co. Col. William Schiff, president of Schiff, Terhune & Co., Inc., insurance brokers, 111 John street, has announced the appointment of Vice President William W. Bainbridge to co-ordinate and increase production in addition to his other duties.

Bronx Times, June 23, 1949

Insurance Authority Discusses New Law At Chamber Luncheon

The Chamber of Commerce for Kingsbridge, Riverdale, and Marble Hill held their monthly luncheon meeting at Brady's Restaurant, 236th St. and Fieldston Road, on Tuesday June 21. William W. Bainbridge, Vice-President of Schiff, Terhune and Co., Inc, was guest speaker at the luncheon meeting. Mr. Bainbridge discussed the Mailler-Condon Law and explained its function, and pointed out the specific obligations that must be assumed by all employers under the law.

An authority on the Mailler-Condon Law, Mr. Bainbridge outlined the following facts about it which will affect employers with four or more employees, and which will go into effect January 1, 1950. He stated that the Law does not cover employees of non-profit organizations, agricultural worker, domestic servants, etc. For those who will be included under the law, weekly benefits up to 50 per cent of wages are provided. Minimum payments are $10, maximum $26. The benefits will be based on earnings during the previous eight weeks of employment.

These payments will be payable after seven days of disability for a maximum of 13 weeks during a period of twelve months. The plan will be administered by the Workmen's Compensation Board, under the supervision of the Board Chairman. The employee and employer contributions are as follows: Beginning July 1, 1950, an employer may deduct 1/2 of 1 per cent of the wages or salary of each employee, but not more than 30 cents a week. The employer pays the balance of the cost of this plan. It is estimated that this will average 1/2 of 1 per cent of the covered payroll.

The employer has a choice of three ways to install these payments. He can provide for these benefits through a contract with an insurance company, by insurance with the State Workingmen's Compensation Board, or by self insurance -- that is by setting up an approved fund from which employee benefits must be paid.

During the period from January 1, 1950, to June 30, 1950, employers and employees will each be required to contribute a special tax of 1/10 of 1 per cent of wages, but not more than 6 cents per employee per week, to the special fund from which benefits are to be paid to the unemployed after July 1, 1950. This applies to all employers and employees, whether or not they elect the State insurance plan.


Employee Security Without Taxation

BY WILLIAM W. BAINBRIDGE, Vice-President, Schiff, Terhune & Co. Insurance Brokers

(This article appeared in 18 trade magazines)

With wartime economy a things of the past, labor, government and management are all "security thinking" which began with the passage of the Social Security Act in 1935. To any group, as sensitive to the prospects of increased taxation inherent in such thinking as is the beverage industry, this statement may have an ominous ring. It should be cheering news, then, to learn of one State which has put increased employee security on a "pay-as-you-go" basis.

New York's recently effected Mailler-Condon Law, designed to provide wage continuance for workers suffering from non-occupational disabilities, is an excellent example of a welfare plan which is sufficiently flexible to provide wanted benefits without the accompaniment of crippling red tape or heavily increased taxes levied against a vulnerable industry. This is particularly interesting in view of the fact that non-occupational disabilities occur more than five times as frequently as do those of occupational origin. It is estimated that one out of every seven employees in New York State will, in any given year, collect benefits provided by the Mailler-Condon Law.

To understand this law fully, a brief review of the background of security legislation from which it springs will be helpful.

The Social Security Act functions in two parts; the first dealing with old age benefits on a Federal basis; the second dealing with unemployment on a State basis and providing for a premium of 2.7% of the insurable payroll (up to the first $3,000 of individual annual income). At the time this plan went into operation, ten States felt that the premium was not sufficiently high and provided for an additional 1% to be charged to employees against their insurable earnings. Experience through the years showed, however, that this additional tax was not a necessary one and some of these States discontinued payroll deductions,

The Knowland Amendment to the Security Act (in 1946) classified this 1% as an excess reserve to the credit of these ten States and provided that reserves due each State would be available to them for use in any non-occupational accident and health plan which it might pass. Thus when California passed such a law in the Fall of 1946, a sum of approximately $360 million was released for its implementation. Similarly, New Jersey's plan started out with a reserve of about $220 million.

Commencing July 1, 1950, all private employers (excepting non-profit organizations) having four or more persons in their employ will be required to have in effect, a plan providing at least the minimum benefits required bylaw or the equivalent thereof.

Specifically, the disabled employee will receive (after a seven-day waiting period) weekly benefits in the sum of one-half his average earnings for the preceding eight weeks with a maximum weekly payment of $26 and minimum payments of $10. (If the employee's average earnings have been less than $10 weekly, benefits will be the same as his average earnings.) These benefits will be paid up to a maximum of 13 weeks within any period of 52 consecutive weeks.

Under the Mailler-Condon Law, employers may elect to provide these benefits through insurance with private companies, through the State insurance company, or through self-insurance - after the necessary proof of financial responsibility is provided. While he is granted much latitude in the working out of the details of his own plan, the employer must maintain minimal benefits for his employees and he must do so on his own initiative. He may not, as in California and New Jersey, obtain automatic coverage through a tax supported State fund!

Thus the Mailler-Condon Law places maximum responsibility on the shoulders of the employer, but gives him plenty of leeway in meeting these responsibilities. It does not add to the State's tax burden in providing benefits for employees. Even the State insurance company is designed to serve as a convenience only. The cost of its administration (by the Workmen's Compensation Board), like the costs of maintaining benefits for the disabled unemployed, will be met by pro-rata levies on all insurers.

Despite the flexibility of the Mailler-Condon Law, employers should seek the advice of experienced insurance counselors, before arriving at a decision as to what plan is best suited to their needs. For example, the law calls for coverage of an employee for four weeks after the termination of his employment (unless he is re-employed within that period).

It is most unlikely that any private welfare plans now in effect provide coverage during such a post-employment period. For that and other reasons, it is questionable whether any private plan now in effect (salary continuance, group insurance, etc.) will completely meet the requirements of the Mailler-Condon Law without requiring some revision. In all cases the individual circumstances of the companies indicate differences in the final programs for compliance with the Mailler-Condon Law.

New York, not having levied this 1% tax, had no such reserve fund to start with. This problem obviated the use of a State fund such as California and New Jersey had incorporated in their laws. The solution was found in the establishment of, practically speaking, a State insurance company. The lack of a preliminary fund also created a further problem - how to care for unemployed disabled workers? To meet this situation, employers and employees will be taxed for the six-month period from January 1, 1950, each contributing 1/10 of 1% of wages, not to exceed six cents a week.

The Equitable, 1952-1965

AGENCY ITEMS - May 26, 1952

Home Office Changes Announced

The appointment of William W. Bainbridge to head the Salary Savings Division as Manager was announced this month by President Parkinson.

The present members of the Salary Savings staff will remain intact under Mr. Bainbridge with appointments of additional Field Supervisors contemplated in the near future.

Mr. Bainbridge, who joined the Society's Group Department in 1937, becomes Manager of Salary Savings after nearly three years service with Schiff, Terhune & Company, third largest General Brokerage Firm in the country. He became associated with the firm in June, 1949 as a Vice President. His initial duties were to reorganize and develop the Life, Group and Accident Departments. He was appointed to the firm's Executive Committee in February, 1951 and last June he was also put in charge of production of all forms of insurance.

During his previous employment with The Equitable Mr. Bainbridge served successively as Service Supervisor and Sales Assistant in the Group Department and as Manager of Group Casualty Coverages from October, 1945.

He was graduated from New York University in 1937 and later completed graduate studies in the university's Business School. He served in the Army during World War 11.

AGENCY ITEMS - February 25, 1957

William W. Bainbridge, formerly manager of Salary Savings, was appointed a second vice president in the Agency Department. He will continue to direct and promote the Society's activities in the field of Salary Savings production.

William W. Bainbridge joined the Group Department in 1937 after graduating from New York University and that institution's business school. He served successively as service supervisor, sales assistant, and manager of Group casualty coverages in the Group Department, the latter appointment coming in 1945. Mr. Bainbridge has been manager of Salary Savings since 1952.

AGENCY ITEMS - January 8, 1962


412 More Concerns Add Salary Savings

In the first 11 months of 1961, 412 companies installed Equitable Salary Savings accounts, according to Second Vice President William Bainbridge. These companies ranged in size from those employing six employees to those employing thousands.

Mr. Bainbridge pointed out that the recent liberalization of the number of lives necessary for the establishment of new Salary Savings accounts has created a new market with vast potential. He said there are more than a million small companies in the United States which are prospects for Equitable Salary Savings.

Small manufacturing companies, electronic outfits, parts manufacturers, food processors, industrial supplies and services, general machine shops, creameries, construction parts and accessories, delivery services, paint manufacturers and distributors, auto sales and services, auto repair shops, metal finishing firms and numerous other types of companies are good prospects for Salary Savings presentations, Mr. Bainbridge said. He cited the growing importance of Contributory Salary Savings, whereby the employer makes a partial or full contribution to the employee insurance premium. This type of plan now comprises about 20 per cent of all new Salary Savings business. With new low SS installation requirements (six apps - five paid cases for a minimum premium of $75 a month), prospects for this type of sale are practically unlimited. Contributory Salary Savings, he said, offers the employer a number of advantages. Through its use, the employer has an effective, economical and systematic method of providing needed added security to his employees. Also, the employer has a method whereby he can reward and retain key employees.

AGENCY ITEMS - December 10, 1962

Bainbridge Gives Special Markets Report to AM's

Where we are and where we are going to go in Special Markets, was the theme of the report that Second Vice President William W. Bainbridge delivered in New York last week to the Managerial Conference at the Essex House. Pinpointing his own area, Military Business, Pension Trusts, individual Health and Salary Allotment, he listed this good news and these challenges for agency managers to bring back to their associates in every one of the 50 states:

* Equitable is the acknowledged leader in the field of Salary Allotment business and has shown substantial growth in this area during, the past several years. This year's score will total $130 million paid. The amount is about 7 per cent of the Society's total business. The market potential in this area is "tremendous."

* For a quick Salary Allotment rundown: Over 500 new accounts will be written by the close of 1962, interestingly enough, Mr. Bainbridge said, 21 per cent of them are contributory cases with management picking up all or part of the premium. Some 23 per cent of the policies written under Salary Allotment are on female employees and future promotional material will capitalize on this market. Other promotional help will include bulletin board posters with sales ideas and space for the agent's picture to further identify him with the account.

Military Business Gains

* In the Military Business field the Society has made substantial gains in the past few years with production more than doubling and the average-size policy climbing to $9,000. Upcoming is a new guide for the agent to help him in soliciting this business. A presentation kit, similar to the one used so effectively in Salary Allotment, is in the works.

* Major Medical and the realistic scorecard are at hand. The Society is showing a 65 per cent increase in Major Medical sales. In October, for example, there was a 301 per cent increase over the same month last year.

* "The launching of Disability Income was successful, but, very frankly, we have just started," Mr. Bainbridge said. "To reap the harvest of this very profitable market," he added, "many projects are in the works." Among them he, listed:

* "New and improved sales promotional material, an 'All-In-One' proposal form rather than the current five, a Programmed Instruction booklet, and a booklet continuing the 'Business Uses of Health Insurance'."

* "The Pension Trust market," Mr. Bainbridge said, "is expanding more than any other market." He reported a 26 per cent increase in production for the first 10 months of 1962 and a 45 per cent increase in the number of new accounts.

AGENCY ITEMS - January 6, 1964

Bainbridge Cites Important Steps To Cut Lapses

Improving the staying power of business put on the books by the sales force requires continuing effort and attention, said Second Vice President W. W. Bainbridge of the Production Growth Division of the Agency Department in a recent comment on the problem of lapsations. "In the final analysis," he said, "a lapsed policy means that the agent has net been adequately compensated for the time he spent in selling the contract."

To underscore his point, Mr. Bainbridge cited the following facts:

* 40 per cent of the total lapsed volume of the Society consists of regular monthly premium business.

* The most critical time for lapse is the first premium payment after the initial payment. Therefore, particularly on regular monthly and quarterly premium business, whatever follow-through can be instituted to insure payment of the second premium will be well worth the effort.

* Proper delivery of policies, with a re-emphasis of the reasons for the purchase, is of immeasurable value.

* The more knowledge of life insurance the agent has, the better his chances for a good persistency rate.

THE VILLAGE GAZETTE, Old Greenwich, Connecticut - March 11, 1965

William W. Bainbridge, has been elected vice president in the Agency Department of The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S., according to James F. Oates, Jr., chairman of the board. The action was taken at the company's annual board meeting recently. Prior to his election, Mr. Bainbridge had been second vice president. A native New Yorker, he attended Lafayette College and New York University, receiving his B.S. degree in 1937, the year he joined Equitable. Mr. Bainbridge is a member of the National Sales Executive Club, the Riverside Yacht Club and the New York Yacht Club. He and his wife, Barbara, have a married son, William, living in Stamford, and a daughter, Constance, 22. They live at 16 Cover Road, Lucas Point, Old Greenwich.

Eulogy: Equitable Life Assurance Society

The Agency Committee of the Board of Directors of The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States has learned with deep regret of the sudden death on May 14, 1965, at the age of 51, of William W. Bainbridge, a Vice President of the Society.

Mr. Bainbridge began his career with The Equitable on November 22, 1937 as a member of the Cashier's Training Class at Detroit, Michigan. He Subsequently was appointed Service Supervisor in the Home Office Group Department in 1938 and after serving with distinction within that Department, he was named Manager of Group Casualty Coverages. In 1952 he was appointed Manager of Salary Allotment Insurance and in 1957 he was elected Second Vice President. Subsequently, he was placed in charge of the Production Growth Division of the Agency Department, and in February 1965 he was advanced to Vice President.

In All these capacities he worked constructively and loyally in furthering the interests of the Society, was devoted to its traditions and ideals and earned the lasting respect of his associates. He was a former member of the Seventh Regiment and served in World War II. He was a member of the National Sales Executive Club, the Riverside Yacht Club and the New York Yacht Club.

The Society will long remember Mr. Bainbridge for the invaluable service he rendered and he will be deeply missed by his many friends who held him in high personal affection and professional esteem.

The members of the Agency Committee hereby record their sincere regret upon the passing of William W. Bainbridge and extend to his son and family their deep sympathy.

Whereupon it was unanimously resolved: That this Memorial Tribute on the death of William W. Bainbridge be spread upon the minutes of this meeting of the Agency Committee and that a copy thereof be sent to his son.

Returning home from work
around Christmastime,
to Lucas Point,
Old Greenwich,

Eulogy: American Life Convention

1914 - 1965

William W. Bainbridge, Vice President of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, his wife Barbara and daughter Constance, died on May 14, 1965 in a tragic fire which destroyed their home in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.

Born in New York City on January 11, 1914, Mr. Bainbridge was the son of the late Dr. William Seaman Bainbridge, who was a director of the Equitable and an internationally known authority on cancer, and Mrs. Bainbridge of New York City, Riverside, Connecticut and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Following his graduation from New York University, Mr. Bainbridge began his career with the Equitable on November 22, 1937 in Detroit, Michigan. He was appointed service supervisor in the Home Office Group Department in 1938, and subsequently was named Manager of Group Casualty Coverages. In 1952 he was appointed Manager of Salary Allotment Insurance in the Agency Department, and in 1957 he was elected Second Vice President. Later he was placed in charge of the Production Growth Division in the Agency Department, and in February 1965 he was advanced to Vice President.

In all of these capacities he worked constructively and loyally in furthering the interests of the Society, and was devoted to its traditions and ideals. The Society will long remember Mr. Bainbridge for the invaluable service he rendered, and he will be deeply missed by his friends and associates who held him in high personal affection and professional esteem. He was a former member of the Seventh Regiment and served in World War II. He was a member of the National Sales Executive Club, the Riverside Yacht Club and the New York Yacht Club.

Mr. Bainbridge is survived by his mother, a son, William, a sister, Mrs. Angus McIntosh of Scotland, and a brother, John S. Bainbridge of New York City.

Be It Resolved, Therefore: That this resolution be spread upon the Minutes of this meeting and copies sent to his company and to his family.

This resolution presented and unanimously adopted at the Executive Session of the American Life Convention, held on Thursday, October 14, 1965, Royal York Hotel, Toronto, Ontario.


Old Greenwich, Connecticut, Thursday, May 20, 1965, page 5.

Mr. Bainbridge was born in New York City and married the former Barbara Elizabeth Sims on November 6, 1937.

His first school was the Old Friends Seminary in New York City. He entered the Mohegan Lake Military School at Mohegan Lake, N.Y., in 1925 and was graduated in 1932. He then enlisted in Company "I" of the Seventh Regiment (7th Infantry, National Guard) where he became an expert marksman. He was given a furlough in 1933 to enter Lafayette College. There he was a member of Chi Phi fraternity. In 1925, he transferred to New York University and received a B.S. degree and the Business Certificate in 1937. That same year, he was employed by Equitable Life Assurance Society, at first in Detroit and then in New York where in 1945 he was made Manager of Group Casualty Coverages.

He entered the Army in 1944 as a private in the cavalry, and served at Ft. Riley, Kansas, becoming a staff sergeant in 1945. He was discharged that year.

In 1949 he became vice president of Schiff, Terhune and Co., a general insurance brokerage firm.

Mr. Bainbridge rejoined Equitable Life, becoming manager of the agency department division. In 1957, he was elected second vice president. He became a vice president in February of this year.

Mr. Bainbridge was a member of the National Sales Executive Club, the New York Yacht Club, and the Riverside Yacht Club.

He was a cousin of Mrs. Carleton L. Marsh of Riverside, and of Walter H. Wheeler Jr., of Stamford, chairman of the board of Pitney-Bowes, Inc.

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Bainbridge Family Memorials