John Graves Shedd (July 20, 1850 - October 22, 1926) was the second president and chairman of the board of Marshall Field & Company.He has two namesakes, Shedd Aquarium and John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts.
Born on a New Hampshire farm, Shedd arrived in Chicago, Illinois in 1871 and began working as a stock clerk for Marshall Field. By 1901, he had worked his way up to a vice-presidency and took over as president upon Field's death in 1906. Field himself described Shedd as "the greatest merchant in the United States," and, indeed, under Shedd's presidency Marshall Field & Company became the largest store in Chicago and the largest wholesale and dry goods company in the world.
Shedd was a civic leader and founding member of the Commercial Club of Chicago who played an active role in the city's turn-of-the-century efforts to become a world class metropolis. One of Chicago's major philanthropists, he contributed extensively to Chicago charities, universities and museums, and in the early 1920s he provided $3 million to build Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, as a complement to The Field Museum (founded in 1892 as a part of the World's Columbian Exposition and renamed in honor of Marshall Field in 1905) and The Art Institute of Chicago (whose current building was also a product of the 1892 World's Columbian Exposition). Completed in 1930, the Shedd Aquarium remained the world's largest aquarium for most of the century.
I vividly remember when students at Shedd School took a field trip the the Aquarium. I believe the whole school went and incidentally one year it was the only field trip my class took that year.