The stress of the financial panic in 1907 took a severe toll on J. P. Morgan's health. After organizing the financing for the New York Stock Exchange, the panic continued for several weeks, during which Morgan acted as the country's central banker, cutting deals to reorganize brokerage firms and banks. During the ordeal, he caught a terrible cold and was implored by his doctors to abstain from smoking his beloved cigars. Reluctantly, Morgan promised to cut down. His promise? To smoke no more than 20 cigars a day!
[By the mid-1890s, Morgan's reputation was such that crowds would separate to let him pass when he walked down the street.]