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Becker, Marion Rombauer (02 January 1903–28 December 1976), cookbook writer, arts administrator, and conservationist, was born Marion Julia Rombauer in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Edgar Roderick Rombauer, a lawyer, and Irma Louise von Starkloff, a cookbook writer. Her outlook and interests were strongly shaped by a freethinking, reform-minded family. She studied art history and French at Vassar College and spent her junior year at Washington University in St. Louis, receiving a B.A. from Vassar in 1925. Hoping to find a career in modern dance or art education, she began teaching in 1929 in the art department of John Burroughs School, an experimental school in Clayton, Missouri....

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Busch, August Anheuser, Jr. (28 March 1899–29 September 1989), corporate executive and philanthropist, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of brewmaster August Anheuser Busch, Sr., and Alice Zisemann. Busch, known as “Gussie,” was accustomed to wealth and was steeped in a rich family tradition from his grandfather, ...

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Corson, Juliet (13 January 1841?–18 June 1897), founder of the New York Cooking School and pioneer in the scientific cookery movement, was born in Mount Pleasant, Massachusetts, the daughter of Peter Ross Corson, a prosperous produce merchant, and Mary Ann Henderson. (Although most obituaries and biographical sources give Corson’s birth date as 1842, the Vital Records of Roxbury, Massachusetts, give the date as 1841.) Corson’s family moved to New York City when she was six years old. In New York her uncle, Alfred Upham, helped to raise her and provided her with a classical education. She began to support herself in her late teens after her mother’s death....

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Armand Hammer Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-114806 ).

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Hammer, Armand (21 May 1898–10 December 1990), entrepreneur and philanthropist, was born on the Lower East Side of New York City, the son of Russian-born Julius Hammer, a pharmacist and physician, and Rose Robinson. Hammer’s childhood economic circumstances were better than those of many of his immigrant contemporaries. When he was still a child, his family moved to the Bronx, where his father balanced a quest for a medical degree with the demands of his drugstores. Hammer attended Morris High School and in 1917 registered at Columbia Heights Premedical School. Two years later he enrolled at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, from which he graduated in June 1921....

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Hershey, Milton Snavely (13 September 1857–13 October 1945), candy manufacturer, was born at his family’s homestead in Derry Church, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, the son of Henry H. Hershey and Fannie B. Snavely. In search of elusive wealth and success, Henry Hershey moved his family numerous times, always failing at his varied business ventures, including farming, cough drop manufacturing, and sales. As a result of the instability, Milton’s formal education was haphazard, and he never went beyond the fourth grade....

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Kander, Lizzie Black (28 May 1858–24 July 1940), settlement founder and cookbook author, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the daughter of John Black, an owner of a dry goods store, and Mary Pereles, a native of Austria. Lizzie was raised within a Jewish Reform tradition of service to the poor. She graduated from Milwaukee High School in 1878 and married Simon Kander, a clothing salesman, on 17 May 1881. The couple had no children....

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Ludwig, Christoph (17 October 1720–17 June 1801), baker and philanthropist, was born in Gießen, Hesse-Darmstadt. Little is known of his childhood, including the names of his parents. His father was a baker from whom he learned the trade that was to garner him fame in the Continental army. He attended a free school at the age of fourteen and by the age of seventeen joined the ill-fated army of the Holy Roman Emperor in the 1736–1739 renewed war against the Ottoman Empire that lost all of the Balkan territories acquired up to the treaty of Passarowitz (1718). Ludwig made his way back from Turkey to Vienna. He nearly starved to death on the way, and in his old age he included Roman Catholic institutions of charity in his will in remembrance of the Catholic peasants who gave him enough to eat and sufficient clothing to return to Vienna. Scarcely had he and his fellow soldiers recuperated but their further journey homeward was interrupted at Prague, where the French laid siege to the city in the War of Austrian Succession....

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Parloa, Maria (25 September 1843–21 August 1909), teacher of cooking and pioneer in home economics education, was born in Massachusetts; no records have been found of her parentage or exact place of birth. Orphaned in her youth, Parloa supported herself by working as a cook in private homes and as a pastry cook in several New Hampshire hotels, notably the Appledore House on the Isles of Shoals. In 1871, at the age of twenty-eight, she enrolled in the normal school of the Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield. The following year she published ...

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Rorer, Sarah Tyson (18 October 1849–27 December 1937), cooking teacher and diet reformer, was born Sarah Tyson Heston in Richboro, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Charles Tyson Heston, a pharmacist, and Elizabeth Sagers. The family resided in Buffalo, New York, but Elizabeth Heston returned to her mother’s home for the delivery of her firstborn. “Sallie,” as she was called, grew up in the Buffalo area and attended East Aurora Academy, a female seminary. She later attributed the beginnings of her interest in cooking reform to her father’s poor health and delicate digestion resulting from service in the Civil War. Around 1869 the family returned to eastern Pennsylvania, and in 1871 Sallie Heston married William Albert Rorer, a clerk/bookkeeper, in Philadelphia’s Second Reformed Church. The couple had three children, one of whom died in early childhood....

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Terhune, Mary Virginia Hawes (21 December 1830–03 June 1922), novelist and domestic expert, was born in Dennisville, Amelia County, Virginia. She was the second of seven surviving children of Samuel Pierce Hawes, a merchant originally from Massachusetts, and Judith Anna Smith Hawes, the daughter of well-to-do Virginia planters. Mary Virginia’s father gave his precocious daughter early access to classic literature and provided her with a broad education unusual for a southern girl of the period. She was schooled at home by tutors and governesses and spent two years attending a Presbyterian girls’ seminary in Richmond after the family moved to that city in 1845....

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Tulane, Paul (10 May 1801–27 March 1887), merchant and philanthropist, was born in Cherry Valley, near Princeton, New Jersey, the son of Louis Tulane, a lumber merchant, and Marie Tulane (maiden name unknown), who died when Paul was fifteen. His father, a native of France, had relocated with his wife to New Jersey following a 1791 slave insurrection in Santo Domingo (now Haiti) that had claimed the life of several of his relatives. After attending a private school in Princeton and an academy in nearby Somerville, Tulane ended his formal education at age fifteen and became a clerk in the Princeton-based mercantile establishment of Thomas White. Two years later (1818), he set out on a three-year tour of the southern United States in the company of a French cousin. Family position gained him meetings with both ...

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Vaughan, John (15 January 1756–30 December 1841), wine merchant, librarian, and philanthropist, was born in London, England, the son of Samuel Vaughan, a merchant in the Jamaica trade, and Sarah Hallowell of Boston, Massachusetts. The family were Whigs in politics, dissenters in religion, and lovers of science, humanity, and America. Destined by his father for a mercantile career, young Vaughan spent the year 1776–1777 in Jamaica and in 1778 was sent to France to learn French and gain further business experience, with a view to settling eventually in America. In France, where he was attached to a merchant firm in Bordeaux, he became intimate with ...