American diplomat and statesman. Brother of Sir James Jay.
Practiced law before beginning a political and diplomatic career at the outset of the American Revolution. Served in the Continental Congress, of which he became president (1778-79). Minister plenipotentiary in Spain (1780-82).
With Franklin and John Adams, a commissioner for the United States in negotiating peace with Great Britain (1782-83).
Returned to America. Contributed, with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, to the Federalist papers. Served in various public capacities including first chief justice of the United States (1790-95) and governor of New York (1795-1801). Retired to his farm in New York.
Born in New York City. Married to Sarah Van Brugh Livingston, daughter of William, in 1774.