First Generation

Kluge, John Werner

Through a series of savvy investment moves that drew on his uncanny ability to predict market demands and take calculated risks, John W. Kluge rose to the top of the U.S. media industry. He was one of the first to advocate a multimedia approach to marketing, and offered advertisers a variety of potential outlets to reach consumers. He transformed the Metropolitan Broadcasting Corp., which consisted of two floundering television stations and two radio stations, into Metromedia, Inc., which became the largest independent television business in the United States during the height of the major broadcast networks’ power in the 1960s and 1970s.

Levy, Hannah

Hannah Levy and her brother, Jack Levy, were born to Jewish parents in the town of Haigerloch in Southern Germany. As was the case with many German Jews, the story of the Levy family reflects the common immigrant phenomenon of chain migration and the importance of family ethnic networks. Pushed out of Germany by severe hyperinflation and economic depression, as well as rising anti-Semitism, Jack and Hannah both immigrated to America in the 1920s. The existence of a robust family network aided Jack and Hannah Levy’s integration into American life and played a crucial role in their later business success. Together, they founded and developed Fashion Bar, one of the more important regional chain store operations in the American West, and Hannah earned a national reputation as one of the most savvy women retailers in the United States.

Ludwig, Christopher

Christopher Ludwig was one of the most successful German immigrant entrepreneurs in the British North American colonies and later the United States during the late eighteenth century. Following his arrival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1754, Ludwig converted his savings and culinary skills into a bakery and confectionary shop in the Letitia Court district. The enterprise thrived, which allowed Ludwig to expand his bakeshop and branch out into other business endeavors. Within two decades Ludwig had amassed significant wealth that included ownership of numerous properties in the region.