Abraham Abraham

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Abraham Abraham
Born (1843-03-09)March 9, 1843
New York City
Died June 28, 1911(1911-06-28) (aged 68)
Cherry Island, New York
Nationality American
Occupation Businessman
Known for Founder of Abraham & Straus

Abraham Abraham (March 9, 1843 – June 28, 1911) was a Jewish American businessman and the founder of the Brooklyn department store Abraham & Straus, founded 1865. The chain, which became part of Federated Department Stores, is now part of Macy's.

Early life[edit]

Abraham's father was Judah Abraham, a native of Bavaria who left in 1837 and married Sarah Sussman en route to the United States. Soon after arrival, Judah Abraham opened a store on Murray Street in New York. In 1843 Abraham Abraham was born. He had delicate health, and wanted to be a violinist. During the Civil War, he ran away to Chicago to enlist, but was brought back by his father. At 14, he worked at Hart & Dettlebach of Newark, along with Simon Bloomingdale and Benjamin Altman for $1 a week.


Abraham opened Wechsler & Abraham in Brooklyn in 1865 at 297 Fulton Street [1]. The company later became Abraham & Straus.[1]

He became a Brooklyn philanthropist, establishing the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, among many other causes. In 1890, he commissioned a house, now demolished, at 800 St. Mark's Avenue in Brooklyn.

Death and legacy[edit]

Abraham Abraham died on Cherry Island, near Alexandria Bay, New York.

Among Abraham's many notable descendants are grandson Donald B. Straus, an educator, author, and advisor, great-great-granddaughter Nina Rothschild Utne, a magazine publisher, and great-great-great-grandson Arthur Bradford, an author and director.


  1. ^ Leonard, John William; Marquis, Albert Nelson, eds. (1908), Who's who in America, 5, Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, Incorporated, p. 6. 
  • "...And Paramus Makes Ten", internal A&S history document on opening of Paramus Park store, 1974.
  • "Abraham Abraham, Merchant, Is Dead; Sudden End of a Man of Notable Career, Known for His Broad and Liberal Activities", PDF file with full text of New York Times obituary, June 29, 1911.