Entries in Real Estate

Astor, John Jacob
Over the course of John Jacob Astor's career, he applied his great entrepreneurial talent to build the first modern American trade empire with partners in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Continue Reading »
DeHaan, Christel
Although she grew up struggling in post World War II Germany, in 1996 Christel DeHaan became one of the wealthiest women in the United States when, at the age of fifty-four, she sold her company Resort Condominiums International (RCI) for $825 million. Continue Reading »
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 »
Hihn, Frederick Augustus
German immigrant Frederick A. Hihn arrived in San Francisco as part of the Gold Rush and later amassed vast landholdings in Santa Cruz County. He spent much of his life developing property around existing towns and creating new vacation communities along Monterey Bay. Continue Reading »
Keppele, John Henry
John Henry Keppele was a successful, respected, and well-known butcher, innkeeper, merchant, ship owner, and real estate entrepreneur. Continue Reading »
Kessel, Adam
Born in Brooklyn of a mother who emigrated from Bavaria and a father who was the son of German immigrants, Adam Kessel (sometimes “Ad” or “Addison”) would grow up to be a leading pioneer in the production and distribution of motion pictures in the early years of the film business. In time, he would employ many of the leading figures of the industry, including Charlie Chaplin and D. W. Griffith. Kessel’s power was most in evidence during the 1910s, as the film business organized itself around the twin axes of West Coast production and East Coast financing. Continue Reading »
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. Continue Reading »
Paepcke, Walter Paul
The son of a Prussian immigrant, Walter Paepcke was the President of the Container Corporation of America (CCA) and founder of the Aspen Institute. Continue Reading »
Spreckels, Claus
Born in Lamstedt, Claus Spreckels settled in California and built a sugar empire that expanded into a multitude of sectors, including: transport, gas and electricity, real estate, newspapers, banks, and breweries. Continue Reading »
Stern, Leonard N.
Leonard Stern took over the family business Hartz Mountain Pet Company from his father in 1959. By the early 1980s, he had expanded the company's focus beyond pet foods to make it America's leading pet supply manufacturer and name brand. Continue Reading »
Timken, Henry
Henry Timken developed the tapered roller bearing and went on to found a company to manufacture roller bearings that grew into a large, multinational corporation. The Timken Company, formerly Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company, remains, to this day, one of the most successful global family businesses in the United States. Continue Reading »
Wistar, Caspar
Caspar Wistar established the first successful glass manufacturing business in North America. Continue Reading »