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Hanna, Marcus Alonzo (24 September 1837–15 February 1904), businessman, presidential campaign manager, and U.S. senator, known as Mark Hanna, was born above his family’s grocery store in New Lisbon, Ohio, the son of Samantha Converse, a schoolteacher, and Leonard Hanna, who practiced medicine before joining his father and brothers in the grocery business. A proposed canal to link New Lisbon to the Ohio River failed, wiping out Hanna’s grandfather’s investment and pushing the town into commercial decline. Hanna’s father established a new wholesale grocery and shipping business in Cleveland, where he moved his family in 1852. Mark Hanna attended public schools and Western Reserve College, leaving college after getting caught in a student prank. As a traveling salesman for the family business, the gregarious Hanna proved a resourceful competitor. Elected second lieutenant in a Cleveland-based infantry in 1861, he instead became managing partner of the business following his father’s illness and December 1862 death. Called to defend Washington, D.C., during the summer of 1864, he served briefly in uniform but saw no combat....

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Roper, Elmo (31 July 1900–30 April 1971), market researcher and public opinion analyst, was born Elmo Burns Roper, Jr., in Hebron, Nebraska, the son of Elmo Burns Roper, a banker, and Coco Malowney. He attended the University of Minnesota (1919–1920) and the University of Edinburgh (1920–1921), but he did not receive a degree. In 1922 he married Dorothy Shaw; they had two children....

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Weinberg, Sidney James (12 October 1891–23 July 1969), investment banker and presidential adviser and administrator, was born in Brooklyn's Red Hook section, as the son of Sophie Barr Weinberg and Pincus Weinberg, a wholesale liquor dealer. As a boy, he attended Brooklyn Public School 13 and at age ten held several part-time jobs. In 1901 he sold newspapers at the Brooklyn ferry station, peeled oysters, and served as a deliverer for a millinery firm. In 1906 the young Weinberg acquired his first experience in the investment world, working first as a broker's runner and then as a helper for two brokers. Having come from a poor family and having wished to improve his plight in life, Weinberg quit school in the eighth grade and went to work full time....