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Frederick A. O. Schwarz

AKA Frederick August Otto Schwarz

Born: 18-Oct-1836
Birthplace: Herford, Germany
Died: 17-May-1911
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Illness
Remains: Buried, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of FAO Schwarz

After immigrating from Germany at the age of 20, Frederick August Otto Schwarz went to work in a Baltimore stationery store. The proprietor allowed him to display his handmade toys in the window alongside the office supplies, and as the toys sold more and more briskly, he opened his first Schwarz Toy Bazaar in Baltimore in 1862 in partnership with his three brothers. In 1870 he opened his New York store, and a few years later when Macy's began drawing crowds with its in-store Santas, Schwarz refused to hire one, decreeing that "No-one is good enough to play Santa Claus".

At his death in 1911, FAO Schwarz still sold toys that could be found nowhere else in America, and his estate was valued at $1.5-million. The founder's descendants sold majority control of FAO Schwarz in the late 1960s, and the brand name has passed through more than half a dozen corporate owners since then.

Brother: Gustav Schwarz (toymaker)
Brother: Henry Schwarz (toymaker)
Brother: Richard Schwarz (toymaker)
Wife: Caroline Clausen Schwarz (b. 1841, six children)
Daughter: Anna Schwarz (b. 1863)
Daughter: Ida Schwarz (b. 1865)
Son: Henry Schwarz (b. 1867)
Son: Frederick Schwarz (b. 1868)
Daughter: Emilie Schwarz (b. 1870)
Son: H. Marshall Schwarz

    FAO Schwarz Founder & President (1862-1911)
    Naturalized US Citizen
    German Ancestry


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