Hamilton Fish was born 3 August 1808 in Hamilton Fish House, Greenwich Village, New York County, New York, United States to Nicholas Fish (1758-1833) and Elizabeth Stuyvesant (1775-1854) and died 7 September 1893 Garrison, Putnam County, New York, United States of unspecified causes. He married Julia Ursin Niemcewiez Kean (1816-1887) 7 December 1836 in Union County, New Jersey, United States.
He served as the 16th Governor of New York from 1849 to 1850, a United States Senator from New York from 1851 to 1857 and the 26th United States Secretary of State from 1869 to 1877. Fish is recognized as the "pillar" of the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant and considered one of the best U.S. Secretaries of State by scholars, known for his judiciousness and efforts towards reform and diplomatic moderation.