Alexander Turney Stewart (October 12, 1803 – April 10, 1876) was a successful Irish entrepreneur who made his multimillion-dollar fortune in what was at the time the most extensive and lucrative dry goods business in the world.
Stewart was born in Lisburn, Ireland, and abandoned his original aspirations of becoming a minister to come to New York City in the summer of 1823. He spent a short time teaching before returning to Ireland to receive the money his grandfather had left him, purchase some Belfast linens and laces, and return to New York to open a store.
Stewart had extraordinary skill in business, and by 1848 he had built a large marble-fronted store on Broadway between Chambers Street and Reade Street, which was devoted to the wholesale branch of his business, and the largest retail store in the world at that time. Stewart also had branches of his company in different parts of the world and owned several mills and factories. Stewart had an annual income of $1,843,637 in 1863. His business success is estimated to have made him one of the twenty wealthiest people in history, with a fortune of approximately US$90 billion in 2012 prices...
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