Stephen Girard (1750 – 1831), is a great American immigrant success story. Born in
Girard arrived in
Girard was married to Mary Lum from 1777 until her death in 1815. They had no children.
Girard’s first fortune was in international shipping and merchant activities. He stayed in
One of the most interesting chapters of Girard’s life was his role in fighting
As an old man, Girard started to think about what he would do with his fortune. With the assistance of attorney William J. Duane, in the 1820’s he wrote a long will outlining every detail of how his fortune should be used. He delighted in keeping the document secret, knowing that everyone wondered what would happen to the Girard fortune. Immediately after his death, the provisions of his will were made public. In addition to extensive personal and institutional bequests, he left the bulk of his fortune to the City of
Since its opening in 1848,