Anthony Dryden Marshall

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Anthony Dryden Marshall
Born Anthony Dryden Kuser
(1924-05-30)May 30, 1924
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died November 30, 2014(2014-11-30) (aged 90)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Education Brooks School
Alma mater Brown University
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Cynthia Cryan
Thelma Hoegnell
Charlene T. Gilbert
Children Alexander R. Marshall
Philip Cryan Marshall
Parent(s) John Dryden Kuser
Brooke Astor

Anthony Dryden Marshall (born Anthony Dryden Kuser; May 30, 1924 – November 30, 2014) was an American theatrical producer and C.I.A. intelligence officer and ambassador. He was also at one-time the vice president of the Vincent Astor Foundation, which was established by his stepfather, Vincent Astor. In 2010, after a lengthy and well-publicized trial, he was convicted of numerous crimes relating to the handling of the estate of his late mother, Brooke Astor. After being imprisoned for several weeks in mid-2013, he was granted medical parole on August 22, 2013. Marshall died on November 30, 2014 at the age of 90.[1]

Early life and family[edit]

Known as Tony, Marshall was the only child of the American philanthropist Brooke Astor and her first husband, New Jersey state senator John Dryden Kuser.[2] Marshall was the stepson of Charles H. Marshall (his mother's second husband, whose surname he adopted at the age of 18),[citation needed] and also of the American millionaire Vincent Astor (his mother's third husband).[3]

By his father's second marriage, he had a half-sister, Suzanne Dryden Kuser (born November 24, 1931), who served with the U.S. Department of State, was an intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, and has been a consultant to the National Security Agency.

He also had two stepsiblings, Peter Marshall and Helen Huntington Marshall (born April 6, 1918), wife of the composer Ernest Schelling and later of the cellist János Scholz.

Education and career[edit]

Marshall attended Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts. After enlisting in 1942, he served with the U.S. Marine Corps and led his platoon in the battle of Iwo Jima, attaining the rank of Lieutenant and earning a Purple Heart. After the end of the war, he enrolled in Brown University.

Marshall was the U.S. consul in Istanbul, Turkey (1958–1959), then, during the Nixon administration, served as the U.S. ambassador to the Malagasy Republic (1969–1971). He was expelled by the Malagasy government in June 1971 following a Malagasy newspaper report that a secret document bearing his signature implicated him in a supposed coup d'etat against President Philibert Tsiranana.[4] Later he served as ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago (1972–74) and Kenya (1973); and then, during the Ford administration, to the Seychelles (1976).[5] He was also an assistant to Richard Mervin Bissell Jr. during the development of the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft.

In the 1980s, Marshall was an officer with United States Trust Company of New York, where he assisted the bank with the management of large estate accounts.

Throughout his life, however, Marshall depended on the influence and generosity of his philanthropic mother. She once remarked, "I wish Tony had made something of himself instead of waiting for the money."[6]

Theatrical productions[edit]

Anthony Marshall's first production was the Tony-nominated Alice in Wonderland which he produced with Sabra Jones and WNET. He and his wife, Charlene Marshall, formed Delphi Productions in 2003 with producer David Richenthal, and they produced the Tony Award-winning Long Day's Journey into Night (Tony Award, Best Revival of a Play (2003)), and I Am My Own Wife (Tony Award, Best Play, (2004)).

Marriages and children[edit]

Marshall was married three times:

  • His first wife was Elizabeth Cynthia Cryan, whom he married on July 26, 1947 in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.[7] The groom's stepfather, Charles Marshall, was his best man.[8] The couple had twin sons (born May 14, 1953), Alexander R. Marshall, a photographer, and Philip Cryan Marshall, a tenured professor and director of historic preservation at Roger Williams University.
  • His second wife was his former secretary Thelma Hoegnell (born May 11, 1928), whom he married on December 29, 1962.[9] The couple were divorced on January 24, 1990, reportedly following Marshall's affair with Charlene Gilbert, the wife of an Episcopal priest in Northeast Harbor, Maine.[10]
  • His third wife, and widow, whom he married in 1992, is the former Charlene Detwyler Tyler (born July 28, 1945), the former wife of Paul E. Gilbert, a naval officer turned Episcopal priest, and a daughter of Charles Matthew Tyler, an insurance actuary and businessman of Charleston, S.C. By this marriage Marshall had two stepdaughters, Arden (born 1969) and Inness (born 1972) and a stepson, Robert (born 1976). Charlene Marshall was tried in the press for goading her husband to loot the Astor Foundation charitable funds, but, was never formally charged.[11]

Elder abuse conviction[edit]

In 2003 and 2004, changes were made to Brooke Astor's will which transferred who were some of the beneficiaries from a few of Astor's favorite institutions, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Zoological Society, to the Anthony Marshall Fund.[12] In February 2004, the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, which had represented Astor for over 50 years, was also fired,[13] and replaced with Francis X. Morrissey Jr., an attorney friend of Marshall's who had a history of being disciplined by the New York State Bar Association.

In July 2006, Philip Marshall filed suit against his father, alleging mistreatment of his grandmother Brooke Astor and mismanagement of her funds. He requested that Anthony Marshall be dismissed as her guardian and replaced by family friend Annette de la Renta. That request was granted temporarily, pending a court hearing on August 8, 2006.

On August 1, 2006, The New York Times reported that Anthony Marshall was accused by Alice Perdue, who was employed in his mother's business office, of diverting nearly $1 million from his ailing mother's personal checking accounts into theatrical productions. Marshall, through a spokesman, said that Brooke Astor knew of the investments and approved of them. Perdue countered that Marshall had advised her never to send to his mother any documents of a financial nature because "she didn't understand it."

On September 7, 2006, an article in the Times revealed that J. P. Morgan Chase, the court-appointed temporary guardian of Brooke Astor’s assets, was investigating whether Marshall improperly obtained about $14 million in cash, property and stocks from his ailing mother while managing her finances. J.P. Morgan considered litigation against Marshall to get some of the money and property back. The article further suggested that Brooke Astor's mental competency was an issue in her later years, putting her property and securities transfers into question. According to an affidavit presented by J. P. Morgan Chase, “[Q]uestions have been raised as to Mrs. Astor’s competence at this point in time to participate in such transactions and therefore the extent to which Mr. Marshall alone implemented these transactions."[14] On December 5, 2006, an independent court evaluator released a report stating that, while specific claims of elder abuse were not proved, many of Marshall's financial dealings were suspect. Marshall was ordered to return to his mother's estate $11 million in assets, including art, jewelry and money. He also agreed in the settlement to "cede any claims to his mother's medical treatment or finances."[15][16]


On November 27, 2007, Marshall surrendered to authorities at the Manhattan district attorney's office to face indictment on sixteen counts relating to the handling of Brooke Astor's will and financial affairs.[17] The charges included conspiracy, grand larceny and possession of stolen property. Attorney Francis X. Morrissey, his longtime friend, was also charged with six counts including conspiracy, forgery and possession of a forged instrument.[17]

At a press conference following Marshall's arrest, Manhattan district attorney Robert M. Morgenthau stated that "Marshall and Morrissey took advantage of Mrs. Astor’s diminished mental capacity in a scheme to defraud her and others out of millions of dollars." He further said that "Marshall abused his power of attorney and convinced Mrs. Astor to sell property by falsely telling her that she was running out of money. He is charged with stealing money from her as well as stealing valuable art work from her Park Avenue apartment."[18]

The trial of Marshall and Morrissey started March 30, 2009, coincidentally his late mother's birthday.[19] On October 8, 2009, Marshall was found guilty of 14 of the 16 charges, including first-degree grand larceny.[20] Jurors convicted him of giving himself an unauthorized raise of about $1 million for managing his mother’s finances.

On December 21, 2009, Marshall was sentenced to one to three years in prison.[21] Marshall's attorneys appealed, citing jury tampering,[22] but the appeal was rejected. Marshall reported to prison on June 21, 2013.[23]

However, after serving just eight weeks of his sentence, the 89-year-old Marshall had grown so sick and frail that he was granted immediate parole on August 22, 2013. His health problems included Parkinson’s disease and congestive heart failure; his lawyers claimed he could not walk, stand, clean himself or dress himself.[24] Marshall died on November 30, 2014 at the age of 90.[1]


  1. ^ a b Robert D. McFadden (2014-12-01). "Anthony D. Marshall, Astor Son Who Was Convicted in Swindle, Dies at 90". New York Times. 
  2. ^ John D. Kuser: lists children from his four marriages.
  3. ^ According to a former housekeeper of Brooke Astor's, in the 1960s, Marshall suggested changing his surname once again, this time to Astor, a claim which Marshall denies.
  4. ^ "Madagascar". U. S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  5. ^ "Anthony Dryden Marshall". U. S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  6. ^ "Astor Pal Tells Jury of Doyenne's Disappointment with Son". New York Daily News. May 14, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Elizabeth Cryan Will Be Married: Student at Pembroke College Engaged to Anthony Dryden Marshall of Brown U.", The New York TImes, 8 April 1947, page 33
  8. ^ "Elizabeth C. Cryan Ex-Marine's Bride", The New York Times, 29 June 1947, page 46
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Marshall, Anthony Dryden".
  10. ^ Serge Kovaleski, "Mrs. Astor's Son Denies Neglect", The New York Times, 28 July 2006
  11. ^ Eligon, John (2009-05-07). "Astor's Daughter-in-law, Not on Trial, But Judged". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ "Brooke Astor's funeral in New York". International Herald Tribune. August 15, 2007. 
  13. ^ John Eligon (June 7, 2009). "For Astor's Former Lawyer, Role in Trial May Come With Damaging Effects". New York Times. 
  14. ^ Serge F. Kovaleski, "Mrs. Astor's Son Is Accused of Mishandling Millions", 7 September 2006
  15. ^ Gregorian, Dareh, "Astor Son Is Cleared", New York Post, 5 December 2006
  16. ^ "Daily Intelligencer" It Happened This Week", New York Magazine, 8 December 2006
  17. ^ a b "People of the State of N.Y. v. Anthony Marshall, Francis Morrissey". FindLaw. November 11, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2009. 
  18. ^ Serge F. Kovalesky (November 27, 2007). "Astor's Son Surrenders on Charges". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 5, 2015. Retrieved November 27, 2007. 
  19. ^ John Eligon (March 30, 2009). "Jury Selection Begins in Fraud Trial of Brooke Astor's Son". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved April 20, 2009. 
  20. ^ Eligon, John (October 8, 2009). "Brooke Astor's Son Guilty in Scheme to Defraud Her". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2009. 
  21. ^ Barron, James (December 21, 2009). "Brooke Astor's Son Is Sentenced to Prison". The New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  22. ^ Eligon, John (2010-02-22). "An Astor Juror Says Fear Dictated Her Vote". The New York Times. 
  23. ^ "Astor's Son, His Appeals Exhausted, Goes to Prison". New York Times. June 26, 2013. 
  24. ^ Russ Buettner (2013-08-22). "Brooke Astor's Son Is Paroled". New York Times. 

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