He was born in New York City, the son of Anthony Lispenard Bleecker, one of the wealthiest and most influential citizens in 18th century New York, and for whom Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village was named.
Bleecker graduated from Columbia University (1791) and studied law, but was reputedly never a successful practitioner principally due to his oratory skills, of which he was ever self-conscious. For some thirty years he was a contributor of prose and verse to periodicals published in New York City and Philadelphia. The poet William Cullen Bryant wrote:
Anthony Bleecker, who read everything that came out, and sometimes wrote for the magazines, was an amusing companion, always ready with his puns, of whom Miss Eliza Fenno, before her marriage to Verplanck in 1811, wrote that she had gone into the country to take refuge from Anthony Bleecker's puns.
Bleecker was one of the founders of the New York Historical Society and a member of its first standing committee. The Society was extremely influential in the expansion of historical knowledge across the United States. For many years he was Examiner-in-Chancery and served as secretary of the New York City Dispensary. He was also a trustee of the New York Society Library and secretary of its board of trustees from 1816 until 1827.
He died at the home of his brother-in-law, John Neilson, M.D., New York, New York.
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His nephew Richard Wade Bleecker (born in New York City, 27 August 1821; died there, 21 April 1875) engaged in business in New York City, and for some time was president of the North American Fire Insurance Company. He was an active patron of the arts and sciences, and the literary receptions held at his residence were attended by prominent artists and authors. He was a member of the New York Historical Society, a fellow of the National Academy of Design, a member of the American Institute, and also of other art and historical societies both at home and abroad.
- Gwen McCabe (16 November 2003). "Anthony Lispenard Bleecker". Roots.web. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- Greene, Richard Henry, et al. The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. New York: The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1903, Vo. 34, p. 234.; "the proprietor of the Bleecker estate of twenty acres through which Bleecker Street now runs and to which he gave the name" (in honor of his family)
- Moscow, Henry (1990). The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan's Street Names and Their Origins. New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 0-8232-1275-0.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Bleecker, Anthony". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography 1. New York: D. Appleton. p. 291.
- Gwen McCabe (16 November 2003). "Anthony L. Bleecker". Roots.web. Retrieved 12 March 2012.