Image of John Dryden Kuser


Lifetime: 1897 - 1964 Passed: ≈ 60 years ago




United States

John Dryden Kuser

John Dryden Kuser also known as Dryden Kuser was a New Jersey politician and a member of an influential New Jersey family. He was the son of Colonel Anthony R. Kuser and grandson of Senator and Prudential Insurance founder John Fairfield Dryden.

John Dryden Kuser was born in Newark, New Jersey on September 24, 1897 to Susan Fairchild Dryden (d. 1932) and Colonel Anthony R. Kuser (1862–1929). Kuser's father, the past President of the South Jersey Gas and Electric Lighting Company and one of the original investors in Fox Movie Studios, 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 (1839–1911), was the founder of Prudential Insurance Company and a United States Senator from 1902 to 1907. He graduated from Princeton in 1918, where he was managing editor of The Daily Princetonian. During World War I, he served in the Naval Reserve.

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 filed for divorce shortly after the Senate election.

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 1916, he presided over the Somerset Hills Bird Club). In 1933, John Kuser was the victim of a kidnapping threat. A man named George Sabol was arrested and confessed.

In 1935, he married for the third time to Louise Mattei Farry, daughter of Joseph Mattei, and former wife of Joseph Farry. Louise was his former secretary. Her former husband sued Kuser for $500,000 on the grounds of "alienation-of-affections" after Louise left him, and Kuser married her. They settled out of court in 1936.

In 1958, he married for the fourth and final time to Grace Egglesfield Gibbons, former wife of John J. Gibbons.

Kuser died in 1964, aged 66.

Books by John Dryden Kuser

Haiti: Its Dawn of Progress after Years in a Night of Revolution Cover image

Haiti: Its Dawn of Progress after Years in a Night of Revolution

Twentieth Century Revolution Religion Expedition Travelling Education Culture America Geography Invasion Modern United States

This book is part history and part travelogue, an account of a brief visit by a wealthy, white U.S. politician during a lamentable time in Haiti’s history of its invasion and occupation by the U.S. military. Dryden offers his views of elements of Hai...