American lawyer, author, and chess-player; born Feb. 22, 1850, at Wachenheim in the Rhenish Palatinate. When six years of age he was taken by his mother to the United States. Rice was educated at the Central High School in Philadelphia, and from 1866 to 1869 studied literature and music in Paris. While there he acted as correspondent for the Philadelphia "Evening Bulletin." On his return to America he settled in New York, where he acquired considerable fame as a music teacher. In 1880 he graduated (LL.B.) from the law school of Columbia College. Later, at the same college, he became lecturer in the school of political science (1882-83) and instructor in the law school (1885-86). He practised law until 1889.

From 1884 to 1893 Rice was active in railway matters, either as counsel or as director, and for a time was foreign representative in London of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. In 1885 he founded the "Forum" magazine, becoming the first president of the Forum Publishing Company, which position he still (1905) occupies. In 1893 he interested himself in electrical matters and became connected with the Electric Storage Battery Company, of which, in 1897, he was chosen president. Rice was also the founder of the electric-automobile and electric-boat (including the submarine boat) industries in America; and he organized on a large scale the casein business of the United States. In 1902 Bates College conferred on him the honorary degree of LL.D.

Rice is a prominent figure in the American chess world. He has been president of the Manhattan Chess Club, and has presented for competition several trophies, including the one that is competed for annually by cable by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, representing England, and those of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia, in the United States. In 1895 he discovered a variation of the Kieseritzky gambit, which has been named the "Rice Gambit" (see Jew. Encyc. iv. 20b, s.v. Chess).

The books published by Rice include: "What Is Music?" (New York, 1875), which was supplemented by "How the Geometrical Lines Have Their Counterparts in Music" (ib. 1880). The latter work was subsequently made part of the "Humboldt Libraryof Science." He has also contributed a large number of articles to the "Century," "Forum," and "North American Review."

  • Who's Who in America, 1903-5.
A. A. P.
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