Entries in Second Generation

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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Mallinckrodt, Edward Sr.
Industrialist Edward Mallinckrodt Sr. achieved success in the chemical manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries through a combination of factors that included strong connections to Germany, an awareness of the broader business environment, and an ability to formulate innovative responses to technological and economic changes. Continue Reading »
Neiman, Carrie Marcus
Carrie Marcus Neiman was a German-American and Jewish co-founder of the Neiman-Marcus department store and an innovator in the department store industry during the early-to-mid twentieth century. As the daughter of German immigrants, Carrie drew inspiration from European fashion and brought high-quality and cutting-edge merchandise to the Neiman-Marcus stores and customers. Continue Reading »
Ochs, Adolph
Adolph S. Ochs was the foremost newspaper publisher of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. He resurrected the New York Times after purchasing it in 1896, and brought his own rigorous editorial standards to the Times and the field of American journalism. 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 »
Pfister, Charles F
Thought extraordinarily successful, Charles Pfister was in many ways typical for a second generation German-American immigrant entrepreneur in the period between the gilded age and the progressive era: He managed technological and organizational innovations, continued in old branches and developed new ones, had to face the challenges of a political mass market and found himself in a contested situation by a general public, which celebrated successful entrepreneurs as titans and accused them as selfish and heartless forces of wealth. Continue Reading »
Rath, John Washington
John Washington Rath, a founder of the Rath Packing Company in Waterloo, Iowa, played a major role in the American meatpacking business for more than fifty years. Rath served as president of the family business from 1898 to 1943, and then as chairman of the board until 1950. John Washington Rath and the Rath Packing Company also played a critical role in Waterloo’s development as a center of industry during the first half of the twentieth century. The Rath brand was a force in the American meat industry for years until faltering sales and labor struggles led to the company’s decline. Continue Reading »
Ridder, Herman
Herman Ridder, the eldest son of German immigrants to New York. Largely self-educated, he entered the field of journalism as a young man, founding first a German-language Catholic newspaper and then the English-language Catholic News. In 1890 he bought into the New Yorker Staatszeitung, a distinguished daily of national – as well as local – renown. Influenced by the paper’s owner and editor, Oswald Ottendorfer, he became an entrepreneur in business, politics, and print technology. Continue Reading »
Ringling, Albert C.
The eldest of the seven Ringling brothers, Albert (Al) C. Ringling was the founder and leader of the Ringling Bros. Circus, which grew from a small overland show into the country’s largest and most celebrated touring circus. Continue Reading »
Roebling, Washington A.
A military and civil engineer, Washington Augustus Roebling is best known for overseeing the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, which was designed by his father, John A. Roebling. He also served briefly as president of John A. Roebling’s Sons, Co., after its incorporation in 1876, and then again during the final years of his life. Continue Reading »
Rosenwald, Julius
Julius Rosenwald served as vice president, president, and chairman of the board of Sears, Roebuck. During his tenure, Sears expanded its mail-order business and became America's largest retailer. He is perhaps best remembered, though, for his efforts to advance African-American education in the South. Continue Reading »
Schieffelin, Jacob
Jacob Schieffelin, the Philadelphia-born son of a German immigrant businessman, engaged in furnishing stores and provisions for the British Army in Canada, was an entrepreneur who moved vigorously into commerce and real estate speculation wherever he found himself. Continue Reading »
Schnering, Otto
Nicknamed the “U.S. Candy Bar King,” Otto Y. Schnering used his personal sales skills and understanding of advertising and marketing to build the Curtiss Candy Company in Chicago and the post–World War I United States chocolate candy industry into modern, successful enterprises. Continue Reading »
Schwan, Marvin
Marvin Schwan was the founder of Schwan’s Sales Enterprises, Inc., one of the largest producers of frozen food in the world. Continue Reading »
Sousa, John Philip
Between 1893 and 1932, John Philip Sousa was the most commercially successful bandleader in the United States and one of the best-known American entertainers worldwide. The son of Portuguese and Bavarian immigrants, from 1880 to 1892 Sousa served as leader of the United States Marine Band, “The President’s Own,” in Washington, D.C. Continue Reading »
Spiegel, Modie
Modie Spiegel, along with his younger brothers Sidney and Arthur, expanded their father’s erstwhile Chicago furniture retail business into one of America’s leading mail order firms, the Spiegel Company. Continue Reading »