List of Famous Merchants People

List of Famous Merchants

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List of famous merchants, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top merchants in the world? This includes the most prominent merchants, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable merchants is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic merchants were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned merchants.

Items include everything from Moses Alexander to Julius L. Meier.

From reputable, prominent, and well known merchants to the lesser known merchants of today, these are some of the best professionals in the merchant field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous merchants ever?" and "What are the names of famous merchants?" then you're in the right place. (505 items)

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  1. 1
    Photo: Freebase

    Muhammad, full name Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim, from Mecca, unified Arabia into a single religious polity under Islam. Believed by Muslims and Bahá'ís to be a prophet and messenger of God, Muhammad is almost universally considered by Muslims as the last prophet ...more

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    • Birthplace: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
    • Profession: Merchant, Prophet
  2. 2
    Marco Polo
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveller whose travels are recorded in Livres des merveilles du monde, a book that introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned the mercantile trade from his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, who travelled through Asia, and met Kublai Khan. In 1269, ...more

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    • Age: Died at 70 (1254-1324)
    • Birthplace: Republic of Venice
    • Profession: Merchant, Explorer
  3. 3
    William Jackson
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    William Jackson was a figure in the American Revolution, most noteworthy as the secretary to the United States Constitutional Convention. He also served with distinction in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. After the war he served as one of President George Washington's personal ...more

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    • Age: Died at 69 (1759-1828)
    • Birthplace: Cumberland, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Merchant, Military Officer, Lawyer
  4. 4

    John Woolman was a North American merchant, tailor, journalist, and itinerant Quaker preacher, and an early abolitionist in the colonial era. Based in Mount Holly, New Jersey, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he traveled through frontier areas of British North America to preach Quaker beliefs, and ...more

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    • Age: Died at 52 (1720-1772)
    • Birthplace: Burlington, New Jersey, United States of America
    • Profession: Merchant, Journalist, Tailor, Writer
  5. 5
    John Fox
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    John Fox was an American mechanic, merchant and politician from New York.more

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    • Age: Died at 79 (1835-1914)
    • Birthplace: Fredericton, Canada
    • Profession: Merchant, Businessperson, Politician, Mechanic
  6. 6
    Henry Laurens
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Henry Laurens was an American merchant and rice planter from South Carolina who became a political leader during the Revolutionary War. A delegate to the Second Continental Congress, Laurens succeeded John Hancock as President of the Congress. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and ...more

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    • Age: Died at 68 (1724-1792)
    • Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina, United States of America
    • Profession: Merchant, Politician
  7. 7

    James Underwood

    James Underwood was a British-Australian shipbuilder, distiller and merchant.more

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    • Age: Died at 73 (1771-1844)
    • Birthplace: Bermondsey, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Distiller, Shipwright, Merchant, Businessperson, Sailor, + more
  8. 8

    Isaac Allerton, Jr. was a colonel, merchant, and trader in colonial America. He was first in business with his father in New England, and after his father's death, in Virginia. He was a burgess for Northumberland County and a councilor of Virginia.more

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    • Age: Died at 75 (1627-1702)
    • Birthplace: Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Profession: Merchant
  9. 9
    William A. Clark
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    William Andrews Clark, Sr. was an American politician and entrepreneur, involved with mining, banking, and railroads.more

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    • Age: Died at 86 (1839-1925)
    • Birthplace: Connellsville, Pennsylvania, USA
    • Profession: Merchant, Miner, Politician, Pioneer, Banker
  10. 10
    Lawrence Brainerd
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Lawrence Brainerd was a businessman, abolitionist and United States Senator from Vermont. He was the father of Ann Eliza Brainerd Smith and the father-in-law of Vermont Governor J. Gregory Smith and Vermont Lieutenant Governor F. Stewart Stranahan.more

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    • Age: Died at 76 (1794-1870)
    • Birthplace: East Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America
    • Profession: Navigator, Merchant, Politician, Banker, Teacher
  11. 11
    John Jacob Astor
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    John Jacob Astor, born Johann Jakob Astor, was a German-born American businessman, merchant, fur trader, and investor who was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the United States. He was the creator of the first trust in the United States. He emigrated to ...more

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    • Age: Died at 85 (1763-1848)
    • Birthplace: Walldorf, Germany
    • Profession: Merchant, Businessperson, Entrepreneur
  12. 12

    Giosafat Barbaro was a member of the Venetian Barbaro family. He was a diplomat, merchant, explorer and travel writer. He was unusually well-travelled for someone of his times.more

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    • Age: Died at 81 (1413-1494)
    • Birthplace: Venice, Scorzè, Italy
    • Profession: Merchant, Diplomat, Author, Explorer
  13. 13
    Samuel Smith
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Samuel Smith was a United States Senator and Representative from Maryland, a mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, and a general in the Maryland militia. He was the brother of cabinet secretary Robert Smith.more

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    • Age: Died at 87 (1752-1839)
    • Birthplace: Carlisle, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Profession: Merchant, Politician
  14. 14
    Amerigo Vespucci
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer who first demonstrated that Brazil and the West Indies did not represent Asia's eastern outskirts as initially conjectured from Columbus' voyages, but instead constituted an entirely separate landmass hitherto unknown to ...more

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    • Age: Died at 58 (1454-1512)
    • Birthplace: Florence, Italy
    • Profession: Navigator, Merchant
  15. 15
    William Cooley
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    William Cooley was one of the first American settlers, and a regional leader, in what is now known as Broward County, in the US state of Florida. His family was killed by Seminoles in 1836, during the Second Seminole War. The attack, known as the "New River Massacre", caused immediate abandonment of the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 80 (1783-1863)
    • Birthplace: Maryland, United States of America
    • Profession: Merchant, Politician, Soldier, Justice of the Peace, Farmer
  16. 16
    Thomas Mifflin
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Thomas Mifflin was an American merchant and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a major general in the Continental Army and the 1st and 3rd Quartermaster General during the American Revolution, a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, a Continental Congressman from Pennsylvania, ...more

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    • Age: Died at 56 (1744-1800)
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Profession: Merchant, Politician, Soldier
  17. 17

    Siyyid `Alí Muḥammad Shírází was the founder of Bábism, and one of three central figures of the Bahá'í Faith. He was a merchant from Shiraz, Persia who, at the age of twenty-four, claimed to be an inspired interpreter of the Qur'an within the Shaykhi school of Twelver Shi'ism. He made bolder claims as ...more

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    • Age: Died at 31 (1819-1850)
    • Birthplace: Shiraz, Iran
    • Profession: Merchant, Writer, Preacher
  18. 18
    John Bell Hood
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    John Bell Hood was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. Hood had a reputation for bravery and aggressiveness that sometimes bordered on recklessness. Arguably one of the best brigade and division commanders in the Confederate States Army, Hood became increasingly ineffective as he was ...more

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    • Age: Died at 48 (1831-1879)
    • Birthplace: Owingsville, Kentucky, United States of America
    • Profession: Merchant, Businessperson, Military Officer
  19. 19
    John Lynch
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    John Lynch was a nineteenth-century politician, merchant, manufacturer and newspaper publisher from Maine. Born in Portland, Maine, Lynch attended public schools as a child and graduated from Portland High School in 1842. He engaged in mercantile pursuits, was manager of the Portland Daily Press in 1862 ...more

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    • Age: Died at 67 (1825-1892)
    • Birthplace: Portland, Maine, United States of America
    • Profession: Merchant, Publisher, Politician, Manufacturer
  20. 20

    Christopher William Bunting was an Irish-born politician, merchant, newspaper owner and newspaper publisher. Born in Amigan, Limerick, Ireland, he was the son of William Bunting and Jane Crowe and came to Canada West with his mother and sister in 1850 after the death of his father. Bunting worked as a ...more

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    • Age: Died at 59 (1837-1896)
    • Profession: Merchant, Publisher, Newspaper, Media proprietor
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