Augustus D. Juilliard

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Augustus D. Juilliard circa 1919

Augustus D. Juilliard (April 19, 1836 – April 25, 1919) was an American businessman and philanthropist, born at sea as his parents were immigrating to the United States from France. Making a successful career in New York City, he bequeathed much of his estate to the advancement of music in the United States.

Trustees of his estate set up the Juilliard Foundation in 1920 to accomplish his goals, and in 1924 established The Juilliard School in New York City as a graduate music conservatory. Gradually programs were added in dance and theater.[1]


The son of immigrants from the Burgundy region of France, Juilliard was born at sea while his parents were en route to the United States. His parents were Jean Nicolas Juilliard, a shoemaker, and Anna Burlette, who were both Huguenots. Augustus was raised near Louisville, Ohio, and attended local schools.[2]

In 1866, Juilliard moved to New York City, where he worked in the garment industry for a textile manufacturing company that produced worsted fabrics. When the company went bankrupt seven years later, Juilliard founded his own corporation, the Augustus D. Juilliard Company, in 1874. The corporation distributed textiles including wool, silk, and cotton.

He became a successful and wealthy merchant, who added to his fortune through investments and board appointments in banking, railroad and insurance. He resided in Tuxedo Park, New York, where he owned a grand mansion, and also had a flat on the West Side of Manhattan. A patron of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, he served as President of the Metropolitan Opera for nearly three decades, from 1892 until his death. Juilliard died in 1919, aged 83, at his home in New York City.[1] He was interred in the family mausoleum at the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York City.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Juilliard married Helen Marcelus Cositt in 1877. The couple did not have any children.

The mausoleum of Augustus. D. Juilliard in Woodlawn Cemetery


Juilliard made bequests to hospitals, museums and other charitable causes, but the vast majority of his estate, $5 million, was designated for the advancement of music in the United States.[4] In 1920, the Juilliard Foundation was created.

In 1924, the Foundation's funds were used by its Trustees to establish the Juilliard Graduate School to assist excelling students with an advanced music education. In 1926, the school was merged with the New York Institute of Musical Art. This music academy was established in 1905 by Dr. Frank Damrosch (godson of Franz Liszt) and was dedicated to providing a teaching level equaling that of the European conservatories.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "A. D. Juilliard, Capitalist, Dies. Director of Railroads, Banks, and Life Insurance Companies Succumbs at Clay Home. Dry Goods Commission Merchant Was Head of Metropolitan Opera and Real Estate Company". New York Times. April 26, 1919. Retrieved 2011-05-09. Augustus D. Juilliard, capitalist and senior member of the firm of A.D. Juilliard Co., 70 North Street, and a Director of many railroad and life insurance corporations, died last night from pneumonia at his home, 11 West Fifty-seventh Street, after a brief illness. ... 
  2. ^ Brown, Gary (2009-07-26). "The Monday After: Event Celebrates Stark Countian's Funding of Music School". Canton Repository. Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  3. ^ "Mourn A. D. Juilliard". New York Times. April 30, 1919. 
  4. ^ "Gives $5,000,000 to Advance Music. Will of A. D. Juilliard Provides Aid for Worthy Students and for Entertainment". New York Times. June 27, 1919. Retrieved 2011-05-09. An unusual bequest, which will mean much to New York City as a centre of musical education and production, was revealed yesterday when the will of the late Augustus D. Juilliard, who died on... 

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