The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Straus, Isidor

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STRAUS, strows, Isidor, American merchant and communal worker: b. Rhenish Bavaria, 6 Feb. 1845; d. with his wife in the Titanic disaster, 1912. He arrived in America in his ninth year and settled in Tolbolton, Ga., and was preparing to enter the West Point Academy, when the Civil War intervened. In 1865 he removed to New York, where his father founded the firm of L. Straus and Sons a year later. In 1888 he and his brother Nathan associated themselves with R. H. Macy and Company of New York, and in 1893 with Abraham and Straus of Brooklyn. Always interested in tariff and currency reform, he was elected 3 Jan. 1894 from the 15th District, New York, to fill the unexpired term of A. P. Fitch to Congress. He was president of ‘The Educational Alliance’ and a prominent worker in charitable and educational movements, and was very much interested in civil service reform and the general extension of education. He declined the portfolio of Postmaster-General which was offered him by President Cleveland.