Hyde, Henry Baldwin
- John Rousmaniere
Hyde, Henry Baldwin (15 February 1834–02 May 1899), insurance company founder and father of modern life insurance, was born in Catskill, New York, the son of Henry Hazen Hyde, a storekeeper, and Lucy Baldwin Beach. The boy quickly demonstrated unusual intellectual powers but, because his mother was sickly, often was lonely. In 1849 or 1850 his widowed father read a recruiting brochure for life insurance agents, moved his family to Pennsylvania, and became an agent for the Mutual Life Insurance Company, the most successful life insurer in the country. Hyde, only sixteen, soon traveled alone to New York City, where after a spell as a store clerk, he worked at Mutual Life as an office assistant and cashier (treasurer). He became intimately familiar with the actuarial, sales, and financial advances in the nascent and rapidly expanding American life insurance industry....