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Marshall Field III In military uniform during World War I. Photograph by Arnold Genthe. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-93592).

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Field, Marshall, III (28 September 1893–08 November 1956), investor, newspaper publisher, and philanthropist, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Marshall Field II and Albertine Huck. Being the grandson of the first Marshall Field, the Chicago multimillionaire merchant and real-estate developer, meant that Field would be heir to fabulous wealth—all the sooner when his father, unhappy and passive in his active father’s shadow, committed suicide in 1905 and then when his beloved grandfather died of pneumonia two months later. Field’s mother, who had lived in England with her husband and their children and who disliked Chicago, returned to England. The grandfather’s will provided well for Albertine and gave Field and his younger brother a $75 million trust together. Field attended Eton (1907–1912) and then Trinity College, Cambridge (1912–1914), studying mostly history and vacationing with the horsy set. He returned to the United States in 1914 and married Evelyn Marshall the following year; the couple had three children, including Marshall Field IV. He also studied high finance and played polo. In April 1917 he volunteered as a private, despite his earlier rheumatic fever, in the First Illinois Cavalry (quickly converted to artillery service). He was soon commissioned and promoted, saw action in France as a captain with the Thirty-third Division, and was decorated for gallantry at Saint-Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne....

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Ho, Chinn (26 February 1904–12 May 1987), financier, developer, and newspaper owner, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of Ho Ti Yuen, a clerk at the segregated British Pacific Club, and Kam Lan. In the “Chinn Ho Oral History Project” Ho said a sickly childhood delayed his elementary schooling and made him a “runt” who was “pushed around” when he did begin regular classes. In the meantime, having become an avid reader of the Pacific Club’s discarded business periodicals brought home by his father, Ho realized that he had to extend his boundaries and perform better than expected to gain recognition. Through sports he improved physically. He sold soft drinks, newspapers, school supplies, and advertising gimmicks. He was a 20-year-old senior at McKinley High School (class of 1924) when he motivated a small group of classmates to stage school events, including a carnival that paid off the $38 class debt for breaking windows. After graduating, they organized a social and business ...

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Pittock, Henry Lewis (01 March 1836–28 January 1919), newspaper publisher and businessman, was born in London, England, the son of Frederick Pittock, a printer, and Susanna Bonner. In 1839 the family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Pittock’s father began a printing business. Henry, the third of eight children, attended public schools and began working at his father’s print shop when he was twelve years old. In early 1853, inspired by stories of adventure on the Oregon frontier, Pittock, then seventeen, and a brother, Robert, left home to join two other families to emigrate to the West....

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Roberts, Ellis Henry (30 September 1827–08 January 1918), editor, congressman, and financier, was born in Utica, New York, the son of Watkin Roberts, a factory worker, and Gwen Williams, immigrants from Wales. His father died in 1831, and consequently Roberts experienced a difficult childhood. He attended local schools. To support himself and earn money for more education, he learned the printer’s trade in the office of William Williams in Utica. Roberts did the usual work assigned to beginners and had mastered the trade and saved money by the time his brother Robert W. Roberts, under whom he continued to work, purchased the office. Roberts attended Whitestown Seminary for two terms in 1845 before enrolling in 1846 at Yale College, where he won a scholarship, took prizes for English composition, and edited the ...

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Villard, Henry (10 April 1835–12 November 1900), railroad promoter and journalist, was born Heinrich Hilgard in Speyer, Rhenish Bavaria, the son of Gustaf Hilgard, a local judge, and Katharina Pfeiffer. His father wanted him to become a lawyer, but Villard was an indifferent student. When his father threatened to enlist him in the military, Villard immigrated to the United States in August 1853. He changed his name to Villard, after a schoolmate he admired, to make it difficult for his family to trace him and engaged in a number of jobs during his first years in the United States. Villard eventually found work as a journalist for German-language papers and later for English-language papers, covering the ...