McAllister, Ward

McAllister, Ward (Samuel Ward McAllister), 1827–95, American society leader, b. Savannah, Ga. He was a wealthy San Francisco lawyer, who moved (1852) to New York City and married (1853) a millionaire's daughter. He established a second residence at Newport, R.I., and soon became the arbiter of the New York and Newport social set. McAllister chose (1872) the patriarchs, a group of leaders from prominent New York families, and sifted out (1892) the Four Hundred—people whom he deemed members of true New York society. It was McAllister who groomed the famous Mrs. William Astor for her role as queen of New York society. He wrote Society as I Have Found It (1890).

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