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Baldwin, William Henry, Jr. (05 February 1863–03 January 1905), railroad executive and philanthropist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of William Henry Baldwin, a dry goods merchant, and Mary Chaffee. A direct descendant of an English settler who had arrived in Massachusetts before 1640, Baldwin grew up in a family noted for its commitment to abolition and other reforms. His father founded the Young Men’s Christian Union of Boston, an adult social service organization. When Baldwin was five years old, his father retired from his successful mercantile career to serve as the union’s president....

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Crown, Henry (13 June 1896–14 August 1990), entrepreneur and philanthropist, was born Henry Krinsky in Chicago, the son of Arie Krinsky, a Lithuanian immigrant garment worker, and his wife Ida Gordon. At some point they changed their name to Crown. To help his poor family, Crown took a job at age fourteen as clerk at the Chicago Firebrick Company. In 1912 he began work at the Union Drop Forge Company, while taking night courses in accounting. In 1915 he and his two older brothers, Sol and Irving, formed a small steel-brokerage company, S. A. Crown and Company, and Crown quickly established a local reputation as an aggressive and reliable deal maker with a discerning eye for opportunity, a striking power of recall, and an acute sense of timing....

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Eno, William Phelps (03 June 1858–03 December 1945), philanthropist and reformer of street traffic regulation, was born in New York City, the son of Amos Eno, a banker and real estate investor, and Lucy Phelps. Eno came from an old and very wealthy Connecticut family. He was admitted to Yale with the class of 1881, but withdrew after three years because of illness. In 1883 Eno married Alice Rathbone of New Orleans, who died in 1911. He was an associate in his father’s real estate firm from 1884 until 1899....

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Green, John Cleve (04 April 1800–29 April 1875), philanthropist, railroad entrepreneur, and China trader, was born in Lawrenceville (formerly Maidenhead), New Jersey, the son of Caleb Smith and Elizabeth Green. His great-great-grandfather, Jonathan Dickinson, was first president of the College of New Jersey, which later became Princeton University; this family connection would later play a great part in Princeton’s future....

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Kennedy, John Stewart (04 January 1830–31 October 1909), railroad commission merchant, private banker, and philanthropist, was born in Blantyre, Scotland (near Glasgow), the son of John Kennedy, probably a millhand, and Isabella Stewart. He attended school from age six to thirteen and received formal instruction outside of office hours for another four years....

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Charles Franklin Kettering. Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; this acquisition was made possible by a generous contribution from the James Smithson Society.

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Kettering, Charles Franklin (29 August 1876–25 November 1958), inventor and automotive engineer, was born in Loudonville, Ohio, the son of Jacob Kettering and Martha Hunter, farmers. He attended public schools and graduated at the top of his high school class. He spent two years teaching and then enrolled in the engineering program at the Ohio State University. Forced by chronic eye inflammation to withdraw at the beginning of his sophomore year, he took a job with a local telephone company line crew. Two years later he returned to Ohio State and graduated in 1904....

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Osborn, William Henry (21 December 1820–02 March 1894), merchant, railroad executive, and philanthropist, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, the son of William Osborn and Anna Henfield Bowditch, farmers. After a few years at local schools Osborn, at the age of thirteen, became a clerk in a Boston firm, the East India House of Peele, Hubbell & Company. Bright and quite capable, by age sixteen he was representing his firm in Manila, Philippine Islands. While still in his twenties Osborn set up his own import-export business in Manila. The new firm prospered and by the early 1850s he had made a small fortune. He left the Philippines, toured Europe, and returned to the United States in 1853....

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Paul, Josephine Bay (10 August 1900–06 August 1962), businesswoman and philanthropist, was born Josephine Holt Perfect in Anamosa, Iowa, the daughter of Otis Lincoln Perfect, a realtor, and Tirzah Holt. In 1906 the family moved to Brooklyn, New York, where Josephine Perfect grew up. In 1916 Josephine graduated from Brooklyn Heights Seminary and enrolled at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, where she studied for a year. She then spent the next ten years as a secretary and as the director of the Brooklyn Junior League’s bookstore, helping the store to recover from near bankruptcy. In 1928 Josephine and her sister Tirzah established a greeting card business in Brooklyn. With Tirzah as designer and Josephine as sales manager, the sisters managed to sustain a thriving business with distribution stretching from the East Coast to the Midwest. In 1933, following Tirzah’s marriage, the sisters dissolved the business....

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Powell, James Robert (07 December 1814–09 December 1883), businessman and founder of Birmingham, Alabama, was born in Powellton, Brunswick County, Virginia, the son of Addison Powell and Sarah Gholson, planters. Powell was tutored at home for a few years before leaving in 1833 to work a short-lived job as an assistant teacher at Loundesboro Academy in Montgomery, Alabama. Having received a $1,000 loan from Angus McGehee, a distant relative, Powell leased the Planters’ Hotel in Montgomery, where he was able to move his family in 1834. The Powells subsequently moved to Wetumpka, where Addison Powell died in 1840....