John Dryden Kuser
John Dryden Kuser was a New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 politician and a member of an influential New Jersey family. The son of Colonel Anthony R. Kuser
Anthony R. Kuser
Anthony R. Kuser was a businessman and philanthropist who built the High Point monument and donated the land that makes up New Jersey's highest point....

 and Susan Dryden, his father was the President of the South Jersey Gas and Electric Lighting Company and one of the original investors in Fox Movie Studios.

Col. Kuser had served on the staffs of three New Jersey governors in the late 19th century, and in 1923, donated his 10500 acres (42.5 km²) estate to become High Point State Park, the largest public park in New Jersey.

John Dryden Kuser's grandfather, John Fairfield Dryden, was the founder of Prudential Insurance Company and a United States Senator from 1902 to 1907. In 1919, Kuser married 17-year-old Brooke Russell
Brooke Astor
Roberta Brooke Astor was an American philanthropist and socialite who was the chairwoman of the Vincent Astor Foundation, which had been established by her third husband, Vincent Astor, son of John Jacob Astor IV and great-great grandson of America's first multi-millionaire, John Jacob...

 (later known as Brooke Astor), and they had a child, Anthony
Anthony Dryden Marshall
Anthony Dryden Marshall is an American theatrical producer who is a former U.S. Marine, C.I.A. intelligence officer, and ambassador. He also is the former vice president of the Vincent Astor Foundation, which was established by his stepfather, Vincent Astor...

. Brooke Astor later characterized her first marriage as one of physical abuse, alcoholism and adultery.

Kuser launched his political career in 1922, at age 25, winning election as a Bernardsville, New Jersey
Bernardsville, New Jersey
Bernardsville is a borough and affluent suburb in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. Bernardsville has the 10th-highest per capita income in the state. Nationwide, Bernardsville ranks 75th among the 100 highest-income places in the United States...

 Councilman. He was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly
New Jersey General Assembly
The New Jersey General Assembly is the lower house of the New Jersey Legislature.Since the election of 1967 , the Assembly has consisted of 80 members. Two members are elected from each of New Jersey's 40 legislative districts for a term of two years, each representing districts with average...

 two years later, and won a seat in the New Jersey Senate
New Jersey Senate
The New Jersey Senate was established as the upper house of the New Jersey Legislature by the Constitution of 1844, replacing the Legislative Council. From 1844 until 1965 New Jersey's counties elected one Senator, each. Under the 1844 Constitution the term of office was three years. The 1947...

 in 1929. His wife, Brooke, filed for divorce in 1930, after the Senate election; Kuser remarrked that same year, on September 3, Vivia Fisher Banks.

During his six years as State Senator, Kuser's top accomplishment was the passage of legislation that designated the eastern goldfinch
Goldfinch may refer to any of the following species of bird from the genus Carduelis:* American Goldfinch, Carduelis tristis* European Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis* Lawrence's Goldfinch, Carduelis lawrencei...

 as New Jersey's state bird. In 1933 John Kuser was the victim of a kidnapping threat. A man named George Sabol was arrested and confessed.

Kuser's political career came to an end in 1935 when his second wife divorced him amid allegations of abuse and cruelty. Democratic Assemblyman James Bowers captured Kuser's State Senate seat that year. Three months later, Kuser remarried again and moved to Reno, Nevada
Reno, Nevada
Reno is the county seat of Washoe County, Nevada, United States. The city has a population of about 220,500 and is the most populous Nevada city outside of the Las Vegas metropolitan area...

, where he became a newspaper columnist. He returned to New Jersey in the late 1950s (after his later fourth marriage ended) and worked as a consultant to the New Jersey Department of Conservation and Economic Development until his death in 1964, aged 66.
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