This playground is named after the adjacent Russell Sage School, J.H.S.190, in the Rego Park section of Queens.
Russell Sage (1816-1906) was a financier and a railroad tycoon who amassed a fortune of $70 million by the time he died. He began as a clerk in his brother’s grocery store in Troy, New York, and in 1839 opened his own wholesale grocery business. He acted as treasurer of Rensselaer County from 1844 to 1851, and in 1852 he was elected to Congress on the Whig ticket. He served until 1857 when he took over as vice president of the La Crosse Railroad in Wisconsin, a company to which he had lent money while in office.
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