F.A.O. Schwarz

F.A.O. Schwarz

Original Name Frederick Augustus Otto Schwarz
Birth
Herford, Kreis Herford, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Death 17 May 1911 (aged 74)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Section 111, Lot 19751
Memorial ID 3337 · View Source
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Businessman. Born in Herford, Westphalia, Germany, the son of a jeweler, at 14 he obtained an apprenticeship with a leading merchant, where he received business training. In 1856, he emigrated to the United States, settling with his brothers in Baltimore, Maryland, where he joined them in their mercantile business. In 1870, he relocated to New York City, New York and opened the Schwarz Toy Bazaar at 765 Broadway. A skilled self-promoter, he is believed to have introduced the first live Santa Claus in December 1875. His first toy catalog was published in 1876. In 1896, he stated that his store was the 'Original Santa Claus Headquarters' in New York. He became largest toy retailer in the world, his shop moving several times as it expanded under the name FAO Schwarz. He was one of the founders of the Astor Place Bank and the Fourteenth Street Bank, and served as a director of both. He would later serve on the advisory board of the Astor Place Bank. His toy store continued to develop a reputation for quality, unique items, and became something of a tourist destination as well as retail establishment; its Christmas window displays became legendary. After Schwarz's death at 74, the store continued to grow, eventually relocating to its iconic Fifth Avenue location which was immortalized in the 1988 feature film 'Big.' In February 2012, FAO Schwarz's 150th anniversary was marked by its founder's induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 1 Aug 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3337
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for F.A.O. Schwarz (18 Oct 1836–17 May 1911), Find a Grave Memorial no. 3337, citing Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .