LLR Books

Thomas Fortune Ryan


 In transportation, the Irish worked both sides of the track. On the management side, Thomas Fortune Ryan would eventually gain control of New York cities transportation lines to add to his tobacco, banking, insuance, railroad, rubber and mining monopolies that he con¬trolled across the globe.Ryan, who traced his ancestry to Protestant Anglo-Irish settlers in the 17th century,  was born on October 17, 1851 near Lovingston, a small Nelson County community south of Charlottesville in Virginia's Piedmont. At age 17, Ryan moved to Baltimore, (He converted to Catholicism after long discussions with a fellow passenger on the train) and went tow work with Irishman  John S. Barry, a prosperous dry goods merchant. (He married Barry’s daughter)  In 1872, Barry helped Ryan secure a brokerage assistant position on Wall Street where he would be tutored by William Collins Whitney.