James Hazen Hyde

James Hazen Hyde

New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 26 Jul 1959 (aged 83)
Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County, New York, USA
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Plot Catalpa Plot, Section 24, Lot 446-7
Memorial ID 24969640 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Prominent member of New York Society at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Bibliophile, art collector, Francophile and founder of the Alliance Francais in America. At the age of twenty-three he had inherited from his father, Henry Baldwin Hyde, the control and directorship of the immensely successful Equitable Assurance Society of New York, and was a director of forty-eight allied and subsidiary corporations. A member of the exclusive Coaching Club, maintaining one of the largest private stables and collection of carriages extant; a habit he was to follow, with requisite modifications, until his death.
On the last night of January, 1905, James Hazen Hyde, wearing the dark-green formal attire of the Coaching Club, was host of an ingenuous entertainment; turning the Upper Ballroom of Sherry's Restaurant into a scene from the gardens at Versailles, and transformed the other Assembly Room into a theater worthy of the troupe of entertainers led by French actress Rejane, who recently arrived from Paris for performances in New York. The guests arrived attired to match the opulence of the setting; the festivities provided a delightful excursion into the golden yesterdays of the Court of Louis XVI. As regards its artistic side, its perfection of detail, its correctness in costume, its novelty and color, nothing has ever been attempted which could compare with it.
The Ball served the Equitable's fellow executive officers as an excuse for making an overt attack on Hyde, to wrest control of the company's billion-dollar invested assets, claiming that he was too frivolous to run a company dedicated to protecting its policy holders, suggesting that he used the corporation's funds to pay for his entertainment. By the time a government investigation established that Hyde had paid the expenses himself, his reputation was tarnished. Within a year Hyde left New York to reside in France, returning only in 1941 to live in a splendid apartment at the Savoy-Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue for the remainder of his life. Spending the month of July, each of his remaining years, at the Gideon-Putnam Hotel at Saratoga Springs, New York; he died there on the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Equitable Assurance company. For James Hazen Hyde all that mattered during his life, and at its end, was the Grand Gesture!

Family Members


  • Created by: R. Bruce
  • Added: 1 Mar 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 24969640
  • R. Bruce
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Hazen Hyde (6 Jun 1876–26 Jul 1959), Find a Grave Memorial no. 24969640, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by R. Bruce (contributor 46568831) .