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Jacob Aaron Cantor (December 6, 1854 New York Citymarker - July 2, 1921 Manhattanmarker, New York Citymarker) was an American lawyer and politician from New Yorkmarker. He was a United States Representative from 1913 to 1915.


He was born at 19, Second street, NYC, as the son of Henry Cantor and Hannah Cantor, both natives of Londonmarker. He was a reporter for the New York World from 1872 to 1877. At the same time he studied law at the City College of New Yorkmarker, graduated in 1875, was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in New York City.

He was a delegate to the 1884 Democratic National Convention. He was a member from New York Countymarker of the New York State Assembly from 1885 to 1887. He was a member of the New York State Senate from 1888 to 1898, and was President pro tempore of the New York State Senate from 1892 to 1893.

On November 2, 1891, his first wife Julia (Lewenthal) Cantor died. On September 25, 1897, he married Lydia Greenbaum, and they had three children: Margaret, Ruth and John.

He was Borough President of Manhattan from 1902 to 1903, elected on the fusion ticket headed by Seth Low for Mayor of New York City, nominated by the anti-Tammany Hall Democrats, Republicans and the Citizens Union.

Cantor was elected as a Democrat to the 63rd United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Francis Burton Harrison, and served from November 4, 1913, to March 3, 1915. He unsuccessfully contested the election of Isaac Siegel to the 64th United States Congress. Afterwards he resumed the practice of law in New York City.

He was President of the New York City Department of Taxes and Assessments from 1918 until his death. He died at his home at 2345, Broadwaymarker in Manhattanmarker, and was buried at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New Yorkmarker.


  • [496082] Political Graveyard
  • [496083] Obit in NYT on July 3, 1921 (stating wrong years of his majority leadership)
  • [496084] Obit of his first wife, in NYT on November 3, 1891

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