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Couch, Harvey Crowley (21 August 1877–30 July 1941), entrepreneur, was born in Calhoun, Arkansas, the son of Thomas Gratham Couch, a preacher and farmer, and Manie Heard. The Couches were of Welsh extraction. Harvey Couch grew up in rural poverty with little formal schooling until the illness of his father led the family to give up farming and move to Magnolia, Arkansas, where at age seventeen Couch completed his education at the Magnolia Academy. He credited his education to a teacher, Pat Neff, later a governor of Texas....

Article

Heinz, Henry John (11 October 1844–14 May 1919), industrialist, was born in the Birmingham section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Henry Heinz, a brick manufacturer, and Margaretha Schmidt, German immigrants. He spent his childhood and youth in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania. At age fourteen he attended the newly opened Allegheny Seminary in Sharpsburg, but he decided against a career in the Lutheran ministry....

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Kroc, Ray (05 October 1902–14 January 1984), franchise industry pioneer and baseball team owner, was born Raymond Albert Kroc in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of Louis Kroc, a Western Union employee, and Rose Hrach. Baseball was his greatest childhood passion. He became an avid Chicago Cubs fan at an early age and attended games frequently. Thanks to his mother, he also became an accomplished pianist early in life....

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McKay, Gordon (04 May 1821–19 October 1903), inventor and industrialist, was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Michael McKay, a manufacturer and politician, and Catherine Gordon Dexter. Possessing a delicate constitution, he received little formal education. Feeling that outdoor work might improve his health, McKay prepared for a career in engineering. At age sixteen he went to work for the Boston & Albany Railroad in the engineering department, and he later held a similar post with the Erie Canal. Having gained valuable practical experience and eager to direct his own firm, McKay returned to Pittsfield in 1845 and opened a machine shop that specialized in maintaining paper and cotton mill machinery. In that year he married Agnes Jenkins. They had no children, and the union ended in divorce several years later....

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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....