Graff, Everett Dwight
- Bruce E. Seely
Graff, Everett Dwight (07 August 1885–11 March 1964), business executive and philanthropist, was born in the rural community of Clarinda, Iowa, the son of Valentine Graff, a merchant who had emigrated from Germany, and Nancy Elizabeth Fairley. Graff attended Lake Forest College in Illinois, graduating in 1906. His first job was with the company where he spent his entire working career, Joseph T. Ryerson & Sons, Inc., a Chicago firm that established a reputation as a distributor of steel products. He worked his way from the bottom of the organization to the top, beginning in the mail room in 1906 and ending as chairman of the executive committee in 1951. In the years in between, Graff held a number of positions, including posts in the store order and mill departments in Chicago before moving to Pittsburgh in 1909, where he was responsible for ordering steel from various mills. Graff also was involved in sales in Pittsburgh, and he continued this type of work after he returned to Chicago in 1915 as head of the country sales department. Later he became director of purchasing, but sales seems to have been his strength, for his next assignments were to increase sales of cold-finished bars, special steels, and reinforcing rods....