John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, and jurist, best known as the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Considered one of the "Founding Fathers" of the United States, Jay served in the Continental Congress and was elected president of that body in 1778. During and after the American Revolution, he was the ambassador to Spain and France, helping to fashion American foreign policy and to secure favorable peace terms from the British and French. He co-wrote the Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.
Jay served on the U.S. Supreme Court as the first Chief Justice of the United States from 1789 to 1795. In 1794, he negotiated the Jay Treaty with the British.
A leader of the new Federalist Party, Jay was elected Governor of New York from 1795-1801. He was a leading opponent of slavery and the slave trade in New York. A deeply religious man, in later life he served as president of the American Bible Society.