Entries

Kleberg, Robert Justus II
An icon of American frontier life, King Ranch harkens back to a mythical age when the Wild West was tamed and settled. Its success is a testimony to the hard work and vision of second-generation German immigrant Robert Kleberg II. During his long tenure as ranch manager, Kleberg made key improvements in the areas of livestock and health, pasture management, and ranching facilities. His story, though, would be incomplete if one failed to mention the significant contributions he made to the urban and economic development of South Texas as a whole. Continue Reading »
Klein, William
The entrepreneurial careers of William “Bill” Klein and his brother Frederick began in the shadows of Milton Hershey’s burgeoning chocolate empire on the streets of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After working at Hershey's Chocolate Company, the brothers relocated to Elizabethtown and founded their own company. The Klein Chocolate Company was hugely successful and remained in family hands throughout its existence, at times providing employment for brothers and sisters and financial security for the entire immigrant family. Continue Reading »
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. Continue Reading »
Knoll, Hans
Together with his wife Florence, a prominent interior designer, German-born immigrant Hans Knoll played a significant role in introducing modernist design into the market for high-end residential and office furniture through his firm Knoll Associates. Continue Reading »
Koehler, Oscar
Oscar C. Koehler was the pivot point in a large family of brewers who, over the course of two generations, built up successful businesses in a portion of the Midwest that extended from St. Louis, Missouri, to Davenport, Iowa. In the St. Louis and Davenport metropolitan areas, the Koehlers achieved great social prestige and influence, both within the German-American community and in society as a whole. Their elite status and their ability to leverage capital eventually helped the Koehlers attain even greater business success. Continue Reading »
Kreiser, Heinrich Alfred
SEE Miller, Henry»
Kroger, Bernard Heinrich
Bernard Heinrich Kroger, known nationally for his eponymous chain of wholesale grocery stores, capitalized on America’s growing consumerism by buying wholesale and slashing prices, and by reaching a massive audience with his colorful and innovative advertising campaigns. By the end of World War I, the Kroger grocery store had evolved from a local neighborhood shop into a national business. Continue Reading »
Krug, August and Joseph Schlitz
Brewing is surely the business most closely associated with German-American immigrant entrepreneurs, and the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company was one of the most prominent and best known examples. This biographical case study, however, stresses that the success of immigrant entrepreneurs was not only related to a new type of (lager) beer and an intense knowledge transfer from Germany to the United States. The Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company was the result of the work of three different families, closely connected by regional origins, marriage, and kinship. When Georg August Krug opened a saloon and a small brewery in Milwaukee in 1848–1849, he offered a service like that provided by hundreds of other German immigrants. Upon Krug’s death, in 1856, Joseph Schlitz, his bookkeeper, took over the business and eventually married Krug’s widow Anna Maria. Schlitz built the brewery into one of the larger local and regional players over the years before his accidental death in 1875, when it was taken over by his nephews, the Uihlein brothers. Continue Reading »
Laemmle, Carl
Carl Laemmle was the founder of Universal Pictures Company and one of the founding fathers of Hollywood and the studio system Continue Reading »
Landor, Walter
Walter Landor, an industrial designer and pioneer in branding, created some of the world’s most recognizable packages, brands, and trademarks. Continue Reading »
Lasker, Albert
As president of Lord & Thomas, Albert Lasker not only pioneered new advertising and branding techniques for leading companies such as Sunkist oranges, Wrigley’s Gum, and American Tobacco’s Lucky Strike cigarettes but showed how advertising could also break down social barriers, sharpen political campaigns, and promote philanthropic causes. Continue Reading »
Lehman, Emanuel
SEE Lehman, Mayer»
Lehman, Henry
SEE Lehman, Mayer»
Lehman, Mayer
Founded first by immigrant Henry Lehman as a mercantile store in Montgomery Alabama, Lehman Bros. underwent a series of reinventions with the help of his brothers Mayer and Emanuel to become first an important commodity brokerage and eventually an investment bank in New York. Continue Reading »
Lewisohn, Adolph
Adolph Lewisohn was a Hamburg-born German-American businessman who, together with his brother Leonard, once led one of the most important and profitable copper companies in the United States Continue Reading »
Lion, Alfred
Alfred Lion immigrated to the United States in 1936 and went on to found one of the world’s foremost jazz record labels, Blue Note Records with his longtime friend Francis Wolff. Continue Reading »
Living the American Dream? The Challenge of Writing Biographies of German-American Immigrant Entrepreneurs
Biographies of businesspeople offer a new integrative perspective not only to trace the lives, careers, and business ventures of significant immigrants but to answer core questions of American, business, and migration history in a new way. The Immigrant Entrepreneurship project aims to explore hundreds of biographies; the sheer amount of this material has made clear that biographies can be used not only to analyze individual lives but also to address general questions in the history of capitalism and modernity. Continue Reading »
Loeb, Carl Morris
Despite not belonging to one of the elite New York Jewish banking families, Carl Morris Loeb became president of American Metal Company and later established his own investment firm Carl M. Loeb & Co. Continue Reading »
Loew, Marcus
As a pioneer of the mass-entertainment industry of the early twentieth century, Marcus Loew engaged in everything from penny arcades to nickelodeons, vaudeville, and silent film. Continue Reading »
Lomb, Henry
SEE Bausch, John»