Biography

Gemünder, George
August and George Gemünder pioneered high-quality violin making and trading in the United States and were responsible for establishing violin making as a respected craft in the U.S. and also for facilitating the flow of classical violins into the country. Continue Reading »
Genthe, Arnold
In 1895, Arnold Genthe accepted an offer to work as a tutor for an affluent German-American family in San Francisco. In between tutoring responsibilities, he taught himself photography and began publishing some of his photographs in local magazines. By 1901, he had already become one of the most sought-after portrait photographers on the West Coast. His award-winning photographic landscapes and pictures would soon bring both domestic and international recognition. Continue Reading »
Goelitz, Gustav
Jelly Belly traces its roots to the entrepreneurial efforts of Gustav Goelitz, who came to the United States in 1866 and with his younger brothers, Albert and George, built a successful confectionery business, Gustav Goelitz Candy, in Belleville, Illinois, and later Goelitz Brothers' Candy in St. Louis, Missouri. Continue Reading »
Goldman, Henry
Today, second generation German-Jewish immigrant Henry Goldman is primarily remembered for his role as an early partner in Goldman Sachs, the international investment bank that still bears his family’s name. His accomplishments stretched well beyond his own firm, however. In addition to revolutionizing Goldman Sachs, he helped change the American economy by shifting investment banking away from railroads and heavy industry and toward mass-retail establishments. He also pioneered an approach to capital valuation that focused not on physical assets, but on future earnings. Continue Reading »
Goldman, Marcus
Marcus Goldman immigrated to the United States in 1848. After twenty-one years working as an itinerant peddler and a shopkeeper, he carved out a niche for himself in commercial promissory notes forming what would eventually become Goldman, Sachs & Co. Continue Reading »
Gratz, Bernard
SEE Gratz, Michael»
Gratz, Michael
Brothers Barnard Gratz and Michael Gratz were merchants and land speculators from the Prussian occupied territory of Silesia whose commercial enterprises connected Philadelphia to port cities in other continental American colonies, the Caribbean, and Europe, and to the North American frontier. Continue Reading »
Griesedieck, Joseph
Joseph Griesedieck was one of the most influential brewers in St. Louis in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From the 1880s to the 1910s, he helped run several city breweries. At the outset of Prohibition, he acquired the Falstaff label and built the Falstaff Corporation around it. While many other brewers failed during Prohibition, Griesedieck kept his company afloat by selling “near beer,” soft drinks, carbonated water, and pork products. After the repeal of Prohibition, he obtained the first federal permit to begin brewing beer legally again. Within five years, the Falstaff Brewing Corporation was operating four plants in three states and had gained a national market. Continue Reading »
Grohmann, Eckhart
Eckhart Grohmann does not fit the all-too-familiar narrative of the old world European immigrant peasant turned captain of industry that permeates much of the American popular memory. Grohmann was already a member of the entrepreneurial class in Germany. After immigrating to the United States, he acquired his own company, Aluminum Casting and Engineering Co., a small Milwaukee foundry that he expanded into a major firm. Continue Reading »
Gruen, Dietrich
After learning the watchmaking trade in the Black Forest region, Dietrich Gruen immigrated to the United States, where he eventually patented an improved center pinion for watches. This innovation became the foundation of Gruen’s business ventures, which included the Gruen Watch Company, a leading watch manufacturing firm that operated for half a century. Continue Reading »
Guenther, Carl Hilmar
Carl Hilmar Guenther established a mill on the Texas frontier in 1851 that grew into one of the largest food processing companies in the nation, producing well-known flour brands such as Pioneer and White Wings, home baking products under the Morrison Mills name, and Sun-Bird and Williams prepared foods. Guenther originally came to America in 1848, seeking greater political freedom and hoping for economic opportunity. Continue Reading »
Guericke, Konstantin
Konstantin Guericke is a web 2.0 pioneer and co-founder of LinkedIn, the world’s largest online business network. Guericke first came to the United States as a high school exchange student and then returned to pursue further studies at Stanford University. Benefiting from a unique environment for innovation, entrepreneurship, and collaboration, he found pathways to Silicon Valley’s high tech start-up scene. Continue Reading »
Guggenheim, Felix
Felix Guggenheim emigrated to the United States in 1940. An influential publisher in Germany, Guggenheim was able to utilize his former contacts to establish a successful business as a literary agent and legal advisor for clients in the U.S. and in Germany after the end of World War II. Continue Reading »
Guggenheimer, Randolph
SEE Untermyer, Samuel»
Guldman, Leopold Henry
Leopold H. Guldman was born in 1852 to Jewish parents in Harburg, a village in the kingdom of Bavaria. After arriving in the U.S., Guldman eventually made his way to Colorado, where he opened small outlets in bustling mining towns and supplied goods to miners. By 1879, at the age of twenty-six, he founded the Golden Eagle Dry Goods Company, which quickly became one of Denver’s leading popular-price department stores. Continue Reading »
Hackfeld, Heinrich
Heinrich (Henry) Hackfeld was born in Almsloh, a village in the parish of Ganderkesee, in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. He eventually became part of the Bremish mercantile elite, but was atypical in that he came from a humble background. His firm, H. Hackfeld & Co. of Honolulu, was one of a number of German mercantile businesses founded in Melanesia and Polynesia during the nineteenth century. Initially the main focus of the firm’s business was both indirect and direct involvement in the North Pacific whaling industry. After the demise of this industry, at the beginning of the 1870s, the firm shifted its focus to another part of its business, the provision of factoring services to the Hawaiian sugar industry. By the time of the incorporation of Hawaii as a United States Territory in 1900 the firm was one of a small group of sugar factors that dominated the islands’ economy. Continue Reading »
Hammer, Adam
Adam Hammer was a German physician who immigrated to St. Louis, after having participated in the uprising in Baden. Soon after his arrival in the United States he became aware of the deficiencies in the American medical education system. He determined that the most effective remedy for the situation would be to carry out a comprehensive reform of the medical sector using the educational and medical practices of Germany as a model. Hammer’s entrepreneurial significance is found in his contributions to society as a social entrepreneur in the worlds of academia and public health, rather than as a profitable commercial entrepreneur. Continue Reading »
Hart, Harry
SEE Schaffner, Joseph»
Hart, Max
SEE Schaffner, Joseph»
Hasenclever, Peter
Peter Hasenclever was a German-born international businessman active from approximately 1733 until 1792. From 1764 to 1770, he resided in the British colonies of New York and New Jersey, where he established an ultimately unsuccessful transatlantic enterprise to produce, transport, and market iron and steel. Continue Reading »