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Conover, Harry Sayles (29 August 1911–21 July 1965), modeling agency founder and businessman, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Harry Conover, Jr., a washing machine salesman, and Claire Byrnes. Conover’s parents were divorced soon after his birth, and he spent his first nine years with his maternal grandparents in Chicago, where his grandfather was a prominent lawyer. He moved to Brooklyn in 1920 when his mother married the owner of a tool and die company. From 1923 until his graduation in 1928, he attended Peekskill Military Academy in Peekskill, New York, occasionally vacationing in Palm Beach, Florida, with his family. He was destined for Notre Dame, and perhaps the priesthood, but he rebelled, leaving college on the day he arrived in September 1928....

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Powers, John Robert (14 September 1896–19 July 1977), modeling agency executive, was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, the son of John Richard Powers and Margaret Sheridan, farmers. Powers graduated from Easton Academy and briefly attended Lafayette College. Then he struck out for New York City, where he aspired to a career in acting. He managed to land small parts in silent films and with theatrical stock companies, and he worked for two years as an understudy and stage manager for Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. But Powers’s thespian efforts met with a tepid reaction from both associates and audiences. As he recalled, “I never had my entrances greeted by a burst of applause. Producers and audiences alike were unimpressed. Kindly producers told me that I was wasting my talents; the rest told me bluntly that I was wasting their time” ( ...