John F. Dryden, U.S. Senator

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John F. Dryden, U.S. Senator's Geni Profile

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John Fairfield Dryden, II

Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: Temple, Franklin County, Maine, United States
Death: November 24, 1911 (72)
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States
Place of Burial: Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Fairfield Dryden and Elizabeth Dryden
Husband of Cynthia Jennings Dryden
Father of Forrest F. Dryden and Susan Fairchild Kuser

Occupation: founder of Prudential Life Insurance Company, US Senator
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John F. Dryden, U.S. Senator

John Fairfield Dryden (August 7, 1839 — November 24, 1911) was the founder and president of the Prudential Insurance Company and a United States Senator from New Jersey. He was known as the "father of industrial insurance".


Born in Temple, Maine, he moved in 1846 with his parents to Worcester. He graduated from Worcester Academy, then attended Yale College and, in 1875, founded the Widows and Orphans Friendly Society (now Prudential Financial) in Newark, New Jersey, becoming its first secretary and in 1881 its president, and served in the latter position until 1911. He was one of the founders of the Fidelity Trust Company. He was involved in the establishment and management of various street railways, banks, and other financial enterprises in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, and was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William J. Sewell and served from January 29, 1902, to March 4, 1907. Dryden was a candidate for reelection, but withdrew because of a deadlock in the legislature, which at the time elected U.S. Senators. While in the Senate, Dryden was chairman of the Committee on Relations with Canada (57th Congress) and a member of the Committee on Enrolled Bills (58th and 59th Congresses).

He died in Newark, New Jersey on November 24, 1911 from pneumonia following removal of gall stones two weeks earlier. His estate was valued at $50,000,000. He was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Newark.

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.


His daughter married Anthony R. Kuser, who would use 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.

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John F. Dryden, U.S. Senator's Timeline

August 7, 1839
Temple, Franklin County, Maine, United States
December 26, 1864
Age 25
Bedford, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States
March 1870
Age 30
New York, United States
November 24, 1911
Age 72
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States