A self-made man, Thomas Fortune Ryan was born on a Virginia farm and orphaned at age five. He died one of the richest financiers in the world, leaving over $100 million to his family, charities, and museums. Always behind-the-scenes in business and philanthropy, his competitor William C. Whitney called him “the most adroit, suave and noiseless man that American finance has ever known.”

We have one object that Thomas F. Ryan has been involved with.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/people/18539361/ |title=Thomas F. Ryan |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=24 September 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>