Albert Abdullah David Sassoon

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Illustration of Albert Sassoon from Vanity Fair, 16 August 1879

Sir Albert Abdullah David Sassoon, 1st Baronet, KCB, CSI, (25 July 1818 – 24 October 1896) was a British Indian businessman and philanthropist.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Sir Albert was born on 25 July 1818 in Baghdad. He was a member of the Sassoon family. His father, David Sassoon (1792–1864), was a leading Baghdad merchant and a treasurer under Ahmet Pasha, the Governor of Baghdad. However, he fled after he was implicated in a corruption scandal, moving from Baghdad to Bushire, in Iran and settled in Bombay in 1832, where he founded a large banking and mercantile business. He was instrumental in the founding of Imperial Bank of Persia.[1] David Sassoon's business acumen soon made him one of the richest men in Bombay.[citation needed]

Albert Sassoon was educated in India.

Career[edit]

After his father's death, he served as Head of the firm on his father's death.

Philanthropy[edit]

He was a major benefactor to the city of Bombay; among his gifts were the Sassoon Dock completed in 1875, and a handsome proportion of the cost of Elphinstone High School.

In 1867 Sasoon was made a Companion of the Order of the Star of India (CSI) and in 1872 a Knight Companion of the Order of the Bath (KCB). Around the same time he received "Order of Lion and Sun" from Shah of Persia for "work in Persia and his services in development of Persian commerce".[2] In 1873 he visited England and received the freedom of the city of London. Shortly afterwards he settled in England, and was created Baronet Sassoon in 1890.[3]

David Sassoon donated Rs. 60000, while the Government of Bombay Presidency bore the remainder of the cost, Rs. 65,000, for the construction of the David Sassoon Library and Reading Room on Rampart Row, Kala Ghoda in Mumbai. Its contraction was completed in 1870 and like many buildings in the vicinity, such as Elphinstone College, Army and Navy Buildings and Watson's Hotel, it was built using yellow Malad stone. The entrance portico bears his white stone bust.

The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, formerly The Victoria and Albert Museum, which was designed by famous London architect was built with the patronage of many wealthy Indian businessmen and philanthropists like Sassoon, Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy and Jaganath Shunkerseth.

Death[edit]

He died in Brighton in 1896, aged 78. He built and was buried in the Sassoon Mausoleum; in 1933 his body was removed and reburied in the Willesden Jewish Cemetery in London.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Between Foreigner and Shi'is, Daniel Tsadik, page 112, 2007, Stanford University Press.
  2. ^ Between Foreigner and Shi'is, Daniel Tsadik, page 112, 2007, Stanford University Press.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26019. p. 545. 31 January 1890. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  4. ^ Sharman Kadish, Jewish Heritage in England: an Architectural Guide (English Heritage, 2006, pp. 77-78
  5. ^ Sassoon: the worlds of Philip and Sybil, Peter Stansky, Yale University Press, 2003, p. 16

External links[edit]

Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New creation
Baronet
(of Kensington Gore)
1890 – 1896
Succeeded by
Edward Sassoon