Regarded as the first millionaire of California. A convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he labored as a missionary in the East and was appointed to preside over the Eastern States branches of the Church. At the time of the general exodus of the Saints from Nauvoo he chartered the ship "Brooklyn," on which he sailed from New York, in charge of about two hundred and thirty Saints, to the Bay of San Francisco. The Mormons arrived July 25, 1846 after a hazardous journey. Brannan immediately set up his printing press and founded San Francisco's first paper, The California Star. Its first regular issue appeared on Jan. 9, 1847, and stands in the California Press Foundation Hall of Fame. He soon began a journey west as far as Green River, where he met Pres. Brigham Young and the other pioneers, and used every influence in his power with the president to have the Saints settle in California, instead of Salt Lake Valley. Being unable to change the President in his course, Elder Brannan returned to California, disappointed. Later he speculated very heavily in town lots, and a store. He continued his business during the heat of the gold excitement and laid the foundation for great wealth. Many of the most elegant structures in the city were built by him and there was scarcely an institution of public usefulness in which he was not associated. He was collecting the tithes and offerings of faithful members of the Church to be sent to Utah, however, it was then discovered that he was hoarding these sacred funds to further his own wealth and was subsequently excommunicated. In due course of time Samuel Brannan lost most of his property and died a poor, lonley man; and an apostate to his Church.
Bio by: John J