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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. 
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  • Muhammad (Arabic: مُحمّد‎, pronounced [muħammad]; c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE) was an Arab religious, social and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a...  more

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  • 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...  more

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  • William Jackson (March 9, 1759 – December 17, 1828) was a figure in the American Revolution, most noteworthy as the secretary to the United States Constitutional Convention. He also served with...  more
  • John Woolman (October 19, 1720 (O.S.)/October 30, 1720 (N.S.)– October 7, 1772) was a North American merchant, tailor, journalist, and itinerant Quaker preacher, and an early abolitionist in the...  more
  • John Fox (June 30, 1835 – January 17, 1914) was an American mechanic, merchant and politician from New York....  more
  • Henry Laurens (March 6, 1724 [O.S. February 24, 1723] – December 8, 1792) was an American merchant, slave trader, and rice planter from South Carolina who became a political leader during the...  more
  • James Underwood

    James Underwood was a British-Australian shipbuilder, distiller and merchant....  more
  • Col. Isaac Allerton Jr. (ca. 1627 / 1630 – December 30, 1702) was a colonel, planter, politician, merchant, and trader in colonial America. He was first in business with his father in New England,...  more
  • William Andrews Clark Sr. (January 8, 1839 – March 2, 1925) was an American politician and entrepreneur, involved with mining, banking, and railroads....  more
  • Lawrence Brainerd (March 16, 1794 – May 9, 1870) 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...  more
  • John Jacob Astor (born Johann Jakob Astor; July 17, 1763 – March 29, 1848) was a German–American businessman, merchant, real estate mogul and investor who mainly made his fortune in fur trade and by...  more
  • Giosafat Barbaro

    Giosafat Barbaro (also Giosaphat or Josaphat) (1413–1494) was a member of the Venetian Barbaro family. He was a diplomat, merchant, explorer and travel writer. He was unusually well-travelled for...  more
  • Samuel Smith (July 27, 1752 – April 22, 1839) 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...  more
  • Amerigo Vespucci (; Italian: [ameˈriːɡo veˈsputtʃi]; March 9, 1454 – February 22, 1512) was an Italian explorer, financier, navigator, and cartographer who was born in the Republic of Florence....  more
  • William Cooley (1783–1863) was one of the first American settlers, and a regional leader, in what is now known as Broward County in the state of Florida. His family was killed by Seminoles in 1836,...  more
  • Thomas Mifflin (January 10, 1744 – January 20, 1800) was an American merchant, soldier, and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served in a variety of roles during and after the American...  more
  • The Báb, born Siyyid `Alí Muhammad Shírází (; Persian: سيد علی ‌محمد شیرازی‎; October 20, 1819 – July 9, 1850) was the founder of Bábism, and one of the central figures of the Bahá'í Faith. The Báb...  more
  • John Bell Hood (June 1 or June 29, 1831 – August 30, 1879) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. Hood had a reputation for bravery and aggressiveness that sometimes bordered on...  more
  • John Lynch (February 18, 1825 – July 21, 1892) was a nineteenth-century politician, merchant, manufacturer and newspaper publisher from Maine. Born in Portland, Maine, Lynch attended public schools...  more
  • Christopher William Bunting (September 1, 1837 – January 14, 1896) was an Irish-born politician, merchant, newspaper owner and newspaper publisher. Born in Amigan, Limerick, Ireland, he was the son...  more
  • Steven Spurrier (born 1941) is a British wine expert and former merchant who has been described as a champion of French wine. Spurrier organized the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, which unexpectedly...  more
  • Collis Potter Huntington (October 22, 1821 – August 13, 1900) was one of the Big Four of western railroading (along with Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker) who invested in Theodore...  more
  • David Rowland Francis (October 1, 1850 – January 15, 1927) was an American politician and diplomat. He served in various positions including Mayor of St. Louis, the 27th Governor of Missouri, and...  more
  • William Albert Boucher (born November 12, 1889 in St. Louis, Northwest Territories-died June 23, 1976) was a Métis politician, farmer and merchant. He was born in St. Louis in what is now...  more
  • Richard Waldron (1694-1753) was a major opponent of the Wentworth oligarchy in colonial New Hampshire. He supported a continued political subordination of New Hampshire to Massachusetts and opposed...  more