Samuel F.B. Morse
(1791 - 1872)
Samuel F.B. Morse worked as a portrait painter before inventing the telegraph and developing Morse code. He campaigned against the immoderate nature of contemporary theater, unsuccessfully ran for mayor in New York City on an anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic platform, and helped found Vassar College. His friends included the Marquis de Lafayette and the novelist James Fenimore Cooper, whose portraits he painted.