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John W. Griggs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Griggs
43rd United States Attorney General
In office
January 25, 1898 – March 29, 1901
PresidentWilliam McKinley
Preceded byJoseph McKenna
Succeeded byPhilander C. Knox
29th Governor of New Jersey
In office
January 21, 1896 – January 31, 1898
Preceded byGeorge Werts
Succeeded byFoster McGowan Voorhees (acting)
Member of the New Jersey Senate from Passaic County
In office
January 9, 1883 – 1889
Preceded byGarret Hobart
Succeeded byJohn Mallon
Personal details
John William Griggs

(1849-07-10)July 10, 1849
Newton, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedNovember 28, 1927(1927-11-28) (aged 78)
Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Carolyn Webster Brandt
Laura Price
EducationLafayette College (BA)

John William Griggs (July 10, 1849 – November 28, 1927) was an American lawyer and Republican Party politician, who served as the 29th governor of New Jersey, from 1896 to 1898. As Governor of New Jersey Griggs gained a reputation for siding with "the little guy" in conflicts between impoverished workers and their employers; he was also an advocate of civil rights for African-Americans.[1] Griggs only left the Governor's mansion when he stepped down to accept the position of the United States Attorney General from 1898 to 1901.

Early life

He was born on his family's farm in Newton, New Jersey on July 10, 1849. He graduated from Lafayette College in 1868, where he became a founding member of the Phi Charge of Theta Delta Chi.[citation needed]


Griggs served in the New Jersey General Assembly in 1876 and 1877, and the New Jersey Senate from 1883 through 1888, acting as the president of the Senate in 1886. He was selected as a delegate to the 1888 Republican National Convention from New Jersey.[citation needed]

Holding his inauguration at Taylor's Opera House in 1896 at a formal affair,[2] he was elected Governor of New Jersey and served from 1896 through 1898. He left the state house in 1898 to serve as United States Attorney General under President William McKinley until 1901.[citation needed]

He was also a trustee to his alma mater, Lafayette College from 1894 to 1900.[3]

He was one of the first members appointed to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, and served from 1901 to 1912.[citation needed]

When the Consolidated National Bank of New York was organized on July 1, 1902, the fourteen directors included individuals such as Griggs, Henry C. Brewster, George Crocker, Mortimer H. Wagar, and Perry Belmont.[4] In 1905 he was named the president of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America, and held that office until the company was reorganized as the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1919. At RCA he was a director and the company's general counsel until his death.[5]


Griggs died on November 28, 1927 in Paterson, New Jersey.[6] He was buried at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in that city.


Griggs Avenue in Teaneck, NJ bears his name.


  1. ^ John William Griggs, 1899 by Albert Rosenthal (American)
  2. ^ Sullivan, Joseph F. (January 15, 1978). "'Jersey on the Go' Is Inaugural Theme". The New York Times. Trenton. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  3. ^ Skillman, David Bishop (1932). The Biography of a College: Being the History of the First Century of the Life of Lafayette College. Easton, Pennsylvania: Lafayette College.
  4. ^ "Wall Street Topics", The New York Times, New York City, p. 12, July 2, 1902, retrieved January 19, 2017
  5. ^ "John William Griggs" (
  6. ^ "John W. Griggs Dies. Attorney General in McKinley Administration Succumbs to Heart Disease at 78. Held Many Directorships. Born on Farm and Was a Railroad Ticket Agent in Youth. Once Member of Hague Tribunal". New York Times. November 29, 1927. Retrieved August 18, 2014.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by President of the New Jersey Senate
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of New Jersey
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by United States Attorney General
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 6 April 2022, at 19:42
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