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
trueNew 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).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. History: Biographies