Webster's Top Matches
About Webster Bray Todd
Webster Bray Todd (August 27, 1899 – February 8, 1989) was a prominent American businessman, a Republican Party leader in New Jersey and the father of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman.
Todd was born in Yonkers, New York in 1899, later moving with his parents to Summit, New Jersey. He attended Choate Rosemary Hall, Princeton University (Class of 1922), and Fordham University School of Law. In 1923 he became a partner in the Todd, Robertson, Todd Engineering Corporation, along with his father, John Reynard Todd, and his brother, James Todd. The firm was responsible for two projects initiated by the Rockefeller family: the reconstruction of Colonial Williamsburg and the construction of Rockefeller Center. In 1928 he formed his own architectural-engineering firm, Todd & Brown Inc. He also served as director of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
On October 12, 1933, Todd married Eleanor Prentice Schley, daughter of Reeve Schley, in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. They settled in Oldwick, New Jersey and raised four children: John (deceased), Webster Jr., Kate, and Christine. All four would serve in various elected and appointed offices at the local, state, and federal government levels, with Christine Todd Whitman going on to serve as Governor of New Jersey.
In 1950, Todd retired from business and devoted much of the remainder of his life to Republican politics in New Jersey. He was the state chairman for Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidential campaign in 1952. Upon Eisenhower's election he was appointed director of the Office of Economic Affairs of the United States mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Paris. He served as chairman of the New Jersey Republican Finance Committee from 1948 to 1953 and from 1973 to 1974. He was chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee from 1961 to 1969 and again from 1974 to 1976.
His wife Eleanor S. Todd (July 17, 1911 – December 31, 1990) was also active in New Jersey Republican politics. She was president of the New Jersey Federation of Republican Women from 1946 to 1952. She was elected vice chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1956 and served as a Republican National Committeewoman from 1956 to 1966. In 1983, Gov. Thomas Kean appointed her to the New Jersey Board of Higher Education, where she served until 1988.
In 1989, at the age of 89, Todd died of a heart attack at his home in Oldwick, New Jersey.