Businessman, US Diplomat. The son of Ida Straus and Congressman and Macy's Department Stores executive Isidor Straus, both of whom died on the "RMS Titanic" in 1912, he was born in New York City, New York and graduated from Harvard University in 1893. He then worked at Hanover Bank and Abraham and Straus Department Stores before joining Macy's, becoming its President in 1919. Straus was a Director of numerous corporations, served as a Trustee of numerous colleges, and sat on numerous civic boards and commissions. He also raised funds for the Democratic party, including serving on the Founders' Committee that established the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Straus and other members of his family also donated tens of millions of dollars to charities and colleges, often in memory of Isidor and Ida. In 1931 he accepted Governor Franklin Roosevelt's request to help in the state's response to the Great Depression by serving as head of the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration. In 1933 he resigned from Macy's to accept President Roosevelt's appointment as Ambassador to France, where he served until August, 1936, when he resigned because of ill health. He did not recover, and died of pneumonia at his New York City home just two months after returning to the United States.
Bio by: Bill McKern