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John F. Dryden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John F. Dryden
Dryden c. 1905
United States Senator
from New Jersey
In office
January 29, 1902 – March 3, 1907
Preceded byWilliam Joyce Sewell
Succeeded byFrank O. Briggs
Personal details
John Fairfield Dryden

(1839-08-07)August 7, 1839
Temple, Maine, U.S.
DiedNovember 24, 1911(1911-11-24) (aged 72)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseCynthia Jennings Fairchild
RelationsJohn Dryden Kuser (grandson)
EducationWorcester Academy
Alma materYale College

John Fairfield Dryden (August 7, 1839 – November 24, 1911) was an American insurance executive and Republican politician who represented New Jersey in the United States Senate from 1902 to 1907. Prior to his election, Dryden founded the Fidelity Trust Company and Prudential Insurance Company. He served as president of Prudential from 1881 until his death, when he was succeeded by his son Forrest F. Dryden. He was known as the "father of industrial insurance".[1]

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Early life

Dryden was born in Temple, Maine, on August 7, 1839. He moved in 1846 with his parents to Worcester, Massachusetts. He graduated from Worcester Academy and later attended Yale College.[1]


In 1875, he founded the Widows and Orphans Friendly Society (now Prudential Financial) in Newark, New Jersey, becoming its first secretary and in 1881 its president, serving in the latter position until his death in 1911.[1] His son Forrest succeeded him as president, serving until 1922.[2]

Dryden was one of the founders of the Fidelity Trust Company and was involved in the establishment and management of various street railways, banks, and other financial enterprises in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.[1]

Political career

He was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William J. Sewell, serving from January 29, 1902, to March 3, 1907. Dryden was a candidate for reelection but withdrew because of a deadlock in the state legislature, which at the time elected U.S. Senators. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Relations with Canada (57th Congress) and a member of the Committee on Enrolled Bills (58th and 59th Congresses).[1]

Personal life

Dryden was married to Cynthia Jennings Fairchild (1842–1916). Together, they were the parents of:

Dryden died in Newark, New Jersey, on November 24, 1911, from pneumonia,[1] following removal of gall stones two weeks earlier.[4] After a funeral at the Third Presbyterian Church in Newark, he was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery there.[5]


His estate was valued at $50,000,000. In addition to his home in Bernardsville, New Jersey, Dryden was in the process of constructing a home in High Point, New Jersey, that was to be one of the largest homes in the country.[1]

His daughter Susan used part of the Prudential fortune to donate 10,500 acres (42 km2) for a state park at New Jersey's highest point. John Dryden Kuser, Dryden's grandson, was a state senator and Brooke Astor's first husband.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "John F. Dryden Dies Worth $50,000,000. Ex-Senator from New Jersey Succumbs to Pneumonia, Following an Operation". The New York Times. November 25, 1911. Retrieved October 20, 2010. Ex-United States Senator John F. Dryden, President of the Prudential Insurance Company of America, also known as the "Father of Industrial Insurance", died at 6 o'clock last night at his home, 1020 Broad Street, Newark, N.J. The ex-Senator was operated on a week ago to-day for the removal of gall stones.
  2. ^ a b TIMES, Suecial to THE NEW TOHK (July 20, 1932). "FORREST F. DRYDEN, FINANCIER, IS DEAD; Former Head of the Prudential Insurance Company, Which Was Founded by His Father. ACTIVE IN JERSEY UTILITIES Also Served on Board of Newark Public Library u Was Long Active in National Guard". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  3. ^ Reel, Special To The New York Times international News (February 9, 1929). "COL. A.R. KUSER DIES; JERSEY CAPITALIST; | Donor of Huge Park and Bird Sanctuary at High Point, N.J., Succumbs in Florida. | POWER IN HOME STATE | Long a Director of Public Service Corporation--Aided Medical Centre in City. On Governor's Staff. Gave Great Game Preserve". The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  4. ^ "John F. Dryden Operated On". Hartford Courant. November 20, 1911. Retrieved October 20, 2010. John F Dryden president of the Prudential Insurance Company was operated on for gallstones yesterday at his home in Newark, N.J. ...
  5. ^ "JOHN F. DRYDEN'S FUNERAL.; Many Prominent Financiers Attend Simple Services for ex-Senator". The New York Times. November 28, 1911. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  6. ^ "Dryden Kuser, 66, Jersey Aide, Dies". The New York Times. March 6, 1964. Retrieved March 20, 2020.

External links

U.S. Senate
Preceded by  U.S. senator (Class 2) from New Jersey
Served alongside: John Kean
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 25 March 2024, at 15:49
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