Forrest F. Dryden

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Forrest Fairchild Dryden (December 26, 1864 – July 20, 1932) was the president of Prudential Insurance Company of America (now Prudential Financial) from 1912 until 1922. Prudential was founded by his father, John F. Dryden, who was also a United States Senator, representing New Jersey.

Youth and education[edit]

Dryden was born in Bedford, Ohio, on December 26, 1864 to John F. Dryden and Cynthia J. Fairchild. Dryden attended Newark Academy and later Phillips Academy at Andover.


His father, John F. Dryden was the founder and the president of Prudential Insurance Company. Forrest Dryden married Grace Carleton, daughter of Isaac N. Carleton in 1890. Their children were John F. (2nd), Dorthy and Elizabeth.

His sister, Susan married Anthony R. Kuser. Their son, John Dryden Kuser, Dryden's nephew, was a state senator and Brooke Astor's first husband.


He started working for Prudential Insurance Company in 1888. He became superintendent of the Prudential office in Elizabeth New Jersey in 1889. He joined the board of directors and assumed the duties as assistant secretary in 1890. Later that year he was selected to be secretary of the company. During his father's service as U. S. Senator for New Jersey, Forrest Dryden acted as president of Prudential. Dryden was promoted to third vice president in 1903, second vice president in 1906 and vice president in 1911. He succeeded his father as president upon his father's death in 1912. He continued on as president of Prudential until 1922.


Dryden was a member of the New Jersey National Guard Essex Troop. During his time there, he was the chief commissary on the Major General Staff. He held the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was member of the New Jersey State Rifle Association. He was a member of the Newark Board of Trade. He was also a director of many organizations, including the Public Service Corporation of New Jersey, the Union National Bank of Newark, the South Jersey Gas, Electric and Traction Company and the United State Casualty Company of New York.


He died at his home in Bernardsville, New Jersey, on July 20, 1932, due to heart disease.[1][2]

Additional information[edit]

The Dryden family estate, known as Stronghold, was located in Bernardsville on Bernardsville Mountain. It became the home of Miss Gill's School, now known as Gill St. Bernard's School in 1940.


  1. ^ Staff. "Forrest F. Dryden, Financier, is Dead; Former Head of the Prudential Insurance Company, Which Was Founded by His Father. Active in Jersey Utilities Also Served on Board of Newark Public Library - Was Long Active in National Guard.", The New York Times, July 20, 1932. Accessed March 21, 2011. ""Bernardsville, N. J., July 19 – Forrest Fairchild Dryden, president of the Prudential Insurance Company of America, of Newark, N. J., from 1912 to 1922, and a figure in the investigation of insurance and banking conditions in New York by the Lockwood committee in 1921, died today of heart disease at his home here in his sixty-eighth year."
  2. ^ "Forrest Dryden Dies. Headed Prudential Co.". Reading Eagle. July 20, 1932. Retrieved 2010-04-02. Fairchild Dryden. former president of the Prudential Insurance Company, died at his home, Stronghold, Claremont Road. He was 67 years old and had been in ... 

Further reading[edit]

  • Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  • "Dryden Out as Head of Prudential Life", The New York Times, 15 August 1922
  • A History of the City of Newark New Jersey Vol. III, 1913
  • Scannell’s New Jersey’s First Citizens 1917-1918, Page 138
  • Dorothy Dryden Wedding Announcement, The Washington Post, 22 June 1919

External links[edit]