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Liggett, Louis Kroh (04 April 1875–05 June 1946), drugstore chain founder and executive, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of John Templeton Liggett and Julia Kroh. He attended public school until age sixteen, after which he worked for the Detroit Journal, then for Wanamaker’s. He soon showed a flair for sales and, while still a teenager, was sent to close up a bankrupt store. Though his advertising—bright red footsteps painted on sidewalks leading to the store—got him arrested briefly, the sale was a smash success. In 1895 he married Musa Bence; they had three children....

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Walgreen, Charles Rudolph (09 October 1873–11 December 1939), pharmacist and chain store executive, was born near Galesburg, Illinois, the son of Charles Walgreen, a successful farmer and real estate broker, and Ellen Olson. Walgreen’s parents were Swedish immigrants. The family moved to Dixon, Illinois, in 1887. Walgreen’s start in the drugstore business came by accident. While working in a shoe factory in Dixon he cut off the top joint of a middle finger. His doctor—frustrated that the physically active Walgreen would not let his hand heal properly—arranged for him to apprentice at a local drugstore in hopes of keeping him off the baseball diamond. Walgreen stayed with the job for a year and a half, when he was fired or quit during a disagreement with the owner....