Edward Stephen Harkness was an American financier and philanthropist. Edward was considered the most philanthropic of New York City's millionaires having donated countless millions and buildings to various charities and institutions.
Harkness was born on January 22, 1874 in Cleveland, Ohio.
He was educated at Yale University, graduating in 1897.
He inherited a large oil fortune from his father and mother, Stephen Vanderburg Harkness and Anna M. Harkness, estimated at $60, 000, 000, and another from his brother, amounting to $36, 000, 000. Harkness was president of the Commonwealth Fund, founded by his mother, and a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Presbyterian Hospital, both in New York City.
After graduating, Edward Harkness married Mary Stillman, daughter of wealthy New York attorney Thomas E. Stillman, in 1904.