Hermann Oelrichs

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Hermann Oelrichs (June 8, 1850 in Baltimore, Maryland – September 1, 1906 aboard SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, Atlantic Ocean), was an American businessman, multimillionaire, and agent of Norddeutsche Lloyd shipping.

The grandson of a German merchant in Bremen, Oelrichs was married in 1890 to Theresa Alice Fair, daughter of United States Senator and Comstock Lode millionaire James Graham Fair. Hermann Oelrichs and his wife built the Rosecliff mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. They had one child, Hermann Oelrichs, Jr., who served as a lieutenant (junior grade) in the U.S. Navy during the First World War.

Oelrichs was a member of the Democratic Party and active in New York City politics before moving to San Francisco, California. The Oelrichses played a role in the rebuilding of San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake as part of the Committee of Fifty. His remains were interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in New York City. Hermann Oelrichs also made a stunt of swimming with the sharks 1891. Later in 1891, he offered a $500 prize to whoever could prove that a person could get attacked by a shark along the east coast of the United States. Before 1916, Americans would think it was more likely that a bunny turn into a bear than a shark attack a human.


  • "Hermann Oelrichs Dies On A Liner At Sea." New York Times. September 4, 1906. Pp. 1, 4.