Entries in Second Generation

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 »
Stickley, Gustav
Second-generation German immigrant Gustav Stickley is remembered today as one of America’s leading furniture designers and arbiters of taste. A key figure in the Arts and Crafts movement, Stickley created an authentically American furniture designed to suit the needs of modern families. He also founded a groundbreaking magazine, The Craftsman, whereby he publicized his work and the philosophies that motivated it. Stickley’s furniture enjoyed widespread popularity among consumers. As importantly, however, his work influenced others in the craft and building professions, specially designers and architects who were receptive to Arts and Crafts ideals. Continue Reading »
Stratemeyer, Edward
The son of a 48er immigrant from Germany, Edward Stratemeyer built a career as a writer and a publisher of juvenile literature. At the peak of his career, he presided over a publishing syndicate whose most successful book series, the Rover Boys and Tom Swift, sold millions of copies. Other series created by the Stratemeyer Syndicate – the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys – would make their mark on subsequent generations of readers (and writers). Continue Reading »
Swope, Gerard
Gerard Swope was an American engineer and electronics businessman who worked his way up through the ranks to become president of General Electric Company, a position he held from 1922 to 1939 and from 1942 to 1944. Continue Reading »
Thalberg, Irving
Irving Grant Thalberg, the son of German-Jewish immigrants, considered a career as a merchant and a lawyer before using kinship and ethnic networks to secure an entry-level position in the U.S. film industry. Continue Reading »
Thieme, Theodore Frederick
Theodore Frederick Thieme was the second of ten children born to immigrants Frederick John and Clara Thieme of Saxony. During a visit to the Saxon city of Chemnitz, which was known for its thriving textile industry, Thieme decided to begin manufacturing full-fashioned hosiery in the United States. Upon his return, he founded the Wayne Knitting Mills in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In time, Wayne Knitting Mills became one of America’s largest producers of men’s, women’s, and children’s full-fashioned hosiery. Continue Reading »
Untermyer, Samuel
German-American entrepreneurship can be found across the whole spectrum of American business in the period since 1720. The legal profession is no exception. Guggenheimer & Untermyer was one of the most successful and prominent German-American law firms during its life span, approximately 1855 to 1986. The firm was founded in the mid-1850s by Adolph (Abraham) Levinger, a Bavarian-Jewish immigrant. Samuel Untermyer later transformed it into an entrepreneurial Wall Street firm that represented a host of prominent clients, both German-America and native-born, Jewish and Gentile, during the late nineteenth century and throughout much of the twentieth. Continue Reading »
Wollenberg, Harry Lincoln
Second-generation German Harry Wollenberg helped found Longview Fibre Co., a manufacturer of paperboard, corrugated paperboard, and corrugated boxes, in 1926. For the next fifty-two years he built the company from one plant to twelve and increased the share price from five cents in 1926 to $350 in 1979. Continue Reading »
Ziegfeld, Florenz Jr.
Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. is recognized as an American icon who fundamentally changed show business in the United States. He established the modern Broadway show, used standardized beauty as an integrative marker of a rapidly changing immigrant society, and was fundamental for building American global leadership in entertainment. Continue Reading »