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Heinz, Henry John, II (10 July 1908–23 February 1987), business executive and philanthropist, was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, the son of Howard Heinz, a business executive, and Elizabeth Grainger Rust. He was the grandson of Henry J. Heinz, the founder of H. J. Heinz Company, one of the largest international food processing and distribution corporations. Heinz, known as Jack, attended Yale University and graduated in 1931 with a B.A. in English. He pursued postgraduate studies in economics at Trinity College, Cambridge University, England (1931–1932)....

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Hershey, Milton Snavely (13 September 1857–13 October 1945), candy manufacturer, was born at his family’s homestead in Derry Church, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, the son of Henry H. Hershey and Fannie B. Snavely. In search of elusive wealth and success, Henry Hershey moved his family numerous times, always failing at his varied business ventures, including farming, cough drop manufacturing, and sales. As a result of the instability, Milton’s formal education was haphazard, and he never went beyond the fourth grade....

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Kellogg, John Harvey (26 February 1852–14 December 1943), physician, surgeon, and health reformer, was born in rural Livingston County, Michigan, the son of John Preston Kellogg and Anne Stanley, farmers. In 1852 Kellogg’s parents accepted the religious teachings that led to the organization of the Seventh-day Adventist church in 1863. This decision had a marked influence on their son’s life. By 1856 the family had resettled in Battle Creek, Michigan. Part of the proceeds from the sale of their farm was used to relocate the infant Adventist publishing plant from Rochester, New York, to Battle Creek, where Kellogg’s father now operated a small store and broom shop....

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Kellogg, W. K. (07 April 1860–06 October 1951), founder of the Kellogg Company and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, founder of the Kellogg Company and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, was born Willie Keith Kellogg in Battle Creek, Michigan, the son of John Preston Kellogg, a broommaker and a leader of the newly established Seventh-day Adventist church, and his second wife, Ann Janette Stanley. Believing that Christ’s second coming was imminent, Kellogg’s parents provided only a scant education for most of the seven of their eleven children who survived infancy. By the time he was in his early teens, Kellogg, who legally changed his name to Will Keith and who preferred to be called W. K., had begun working as a traveling salesman of brooms, and by age nineteen he was manager of a broom factory in Dallas, Texas. Returning to Michigan in 1880, Kellogg completed a three-month business course at Parson’s Business College in Kalamazoo and went to work for his older brother, the flamboyant physician, author, and inventor Dr. ...

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Post, Marjorie Merriweather (15 March 1887–12 September 1973), business owner, entertainer, and philanthropist, was born in Springfield, Illinois, the daughter of Charles William Post, founder of Postum Cereal Company, and Ella Letitia Merriweather. After several of Charles Post’s entrepreneurial ventures failed, his family entered him in a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1891. The sanitarium’s doctor, ...

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Sanders, Harland David (09 September 1890–16 December 1980), restaurateur, was born near Henryville, Indiana, the son of Wilbert Sanders and Margaret Dunlevy, poor farmers. Sanders had an abbreviated childhood. His father died when Sanders was five years old and this forced his mother to supplement the family income through occasional factory work. Beginning at age seven she left Sanders in charge of his two siblings, sometimes for days at a time. He began working at age ten and his formal schooling ended during the seventh grade. Sanders left home when he was twelve years old, although he remained close to his family....