American lawyer and politician; born in New York city Dec. 6, 1854; grandson of Agil Hanau, cantor of Dukes Place Synagogue, London. Cantor is an LL.B. of the University of New York. He served as a member of the assembly of the state of New York in 1887 and as state senator from 1888 to 1898, during which time he was chairman of the finance committee of the senate and leader of the Democratic party in that body. For two years (1893-94) Cantor was president of the senate. In 1901 he was elected, on a non-partizan ticket, president of the borough of Manhattan, an office second in importance only to that of mayor of New York. Cantor has been actively interested in good government for municipalities. In the legislature he championed legislation in behalf of the public schools and colleges of New York, having charge at the same time of general measures affecting the canals.

Cantor has been prominently identified with Jewish communal work, belonging to many societies, and serving as director of the Society for the Aid of Jewish Prisoners and of the Jewish Protectory. During his fourteen years' service in the legislature he introduced and aided the passage of many measures affecting the Jewish institutions of New York. He advocated the Freedom of Worship Bill, according equal religious rights to all inmates of prisons and reformatories, and was instrumental in securing an appropriation for the compensation of Jewish rabbis ministering in those establishments.

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