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Rice, William Marsh (14 March 1816–23 September 1900), merchant and founder of Rice University, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of David Rice, the inspector of the watershops at the Springfield Armory, and Patty Hall. Although he later financed several relatives’ educations, Rice left school at fifteen to work as a clerk in a grocery store. By the time he was twenty-one he bought a store near the watershops and in less than two years cleared $2,000 in his first business venture. Despite two serious setbacks, his business success was to continue for more than sixty years....