Richard Albert Canfield
– December 11
) was a prominent American businessman and art collector involved in illegal gambling throughout the northeastern United States during the late 19th and early 20th century. One of the earliest to develop the modern day "resort casino", the solitaire game Canfield
is named is his honor.
Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts
, Canfield worked in various jobs prior to running a small faro parlor in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
which eventually led to his arrest. Despite this, he soon established a gambling parlor and had been a well-known gambling operator in Providence, Rhode Island
before moving to New York in the 1880s. During the next twenty years, his high stakes gambling resorts would become popular in New York's underworld until repeated raids by New York district attorney W.T. Jerome
during the early 1900s would force Canfield to close his casinos in 1904.
In his later years, Canfield owned and operated a successful glass making business and continued adding to his art collection (a personal friend of James MacNeill Whistler, Canfield possessed the second largest Whistler collection in the world prior to his death).
In December 1914, he was seriously injured in a New York subway station and eventually died from a fractured skull sustained in the fall. After his death on December 11, he was cremated and his ashes brought back to New Bedford and was interned in the family plot in the Old Section of Oak Grove Cemetery.