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Douglas Pike and Lisabeth G. Svendsgaard

Bunker, Ellsworth (11 May 1894–27 September 1984), businessman and diplomat, was born in Yonkers, New York, the son of George R. Bunker, a founder of the National Sugar Refining Company, and Jean Polhemus Cobb. Bunker was educated in private schools in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and attended Yale University, where he majored in history and economics. After graduating in 1916, he entered the family business as a dockworker. In 1920 he married Harriet Allen Butler, with whom he was to have three children. Bunker advanced quickly in the National Sugar Refining Company and was named a director of the company in 1927. He went on to become secretary, treasurer, president, and chairman of the board, retiring in 1950. He remained a member of the board of directors until 1966....

Article

Rich, Obadiah (1783–20 January 1850), diplomat and book dealer, was born in Truro, Massachusetts, the son of Obadiah Rich, a ship captain, and Salome Lombard. About 1789 his family moved to the Boston area, where Rich resided until 1816. Although the details of Rich’s schooling are not known, an acquaintance described him as “a gentleman by birth and education” and “really learned” (Henry Harrisse, ...

Article

Sanford, Henry Shelton (15 June 1823–21 May 1891), diplomat and businessman, was born in Woodbury, Connecticut, the son of Nehemiah Curtis Sanford, a merchant and manufacturer, and Nancy Bateman Shelton. The elder Sanford’s prosperous mercantile ventures enabled Henry to attend the Episcopal Academy in Cheshire, Connecticut, from which he graduated in 1839, and Washington College in Hartford, from which he withdrew for reasons of health during his sophomore year in 1840. Sanford spent much of the ensuing eight years traveling and studying in Europe, where he learned several languages and earned a doctor of laws degree from the University of Heidelberg in 1849....

Article

Straus, Jesse Isidor (25 June 1872–04 October 1936), merchant and diplomat, was born in New York City, the son of Isidor Straus, a merchant, and Ida Blun. Straus received his early education (1882–1889) from the Collegiate Institute of Dr. Julius Sachs, who influenced him to attend, and graduate from in 1893, Harvard University. Early on, Jesse developed an ascetic, frugal approach to life; in a notebook kept during college he accounted for every penny spent. Along with his fiscal exactitude ran a compulsion to work that often drove Jesse beyond his physical endurance into illness....