John Dryden Kuser

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John Dryden Kuser

Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Bernardsville, Somerset County, New Jersey, United States
Death: March 3, 1964 (66)
Manhattan, New York, New York County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Col. Anthony R. Kuser and Susan Fairchild Kuser
Ex-husband of Brooke Astor
Father of Anthony Dryden Marshall
Brother of (baby) Kuser

Managed by: Private User
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About John Dryden Kuser

John Dryden Kuser (September 24, 1897 — March 3, 1964) was a New Jersey politician and a member of an influential New Jersey family. The son of Colonel Anthony R. Kuser and Susan Dryden, his father was the President of the South Jersey Gas and Electric Lighting Company and one of the original investors in Fox Movie Studios.

Col. Kuser had served on the staffs of three New Jersey governors in the late 19th century, and in 1923, donated his 10,500-acre (42 km2) estate to become High Point State Park, the largest public park in New Jersey.

John Dryden Kuser's grandfather, John Fairfield Dryden, was the founder of Prudential Insurance Company and a United States Senator from 1902 to 1907. In 1919, Kuser married 17-year-old Brooke Russell (later known as Brooke Astor), and they had a child, Anthony. Brooke Astor later characterized her first marriage as one of physical abuse, alcoholism and adultery.

Kuser launched his political career in 1922, at age 25, winning election as a Bernardsville, New Jersey Councilman. He was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly two years later, and won a seat in the New Jersey Senate in 1929. His wife, Brooke, filed for divorce in 1930, after the Senate election; Kuser remarrked that same year, on September 3, Vivia Fisher Banks.

During his six years as State Senator, Kuser's top accomplishment was the passage of legislation that designated the eastern goldfinch as New Jersey's state bird. In 1933 John Kuser was the victim of a kidnapping threat. A man named George Sabol was arrested and confessed.

Kuser's political career came to an end in 1935 when his second wife divorced him amid allegations of abuse and cruelty. Democratic Assemblyman James Bowers captured Kuser's State Senate seat that year. Three months later, Kuser remarried again and moved to Reno, Nevada, where he became a newspaper columnist. He returned to New Jersey in the late 1950s (after his later fourth marriage ended) and worked as a consultant to the New Jersey Department of Conservation and Economic Development until his death in 1964, aged 66

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John Dryden Kuser's Timeline

September 24, 1897
Bernardsville, Somerset County, New Jersey, United States
May 30, 1924
Age 26
New York, New York, United States
March 3, 1964
Age 66
New York, New York County, New York, United States