Business

Greatest Financial Entrepreneurs of All Time

By Lisa Ocker / May 6, 2008 /

Charles Schwab b. 1937 Charles Schwab made investing even more accessible as a pioneer in the discount brokerage business. His company reduced trade commissions and gave more power to consumers to pick and choose their investments. Schwab also introduced e-commerce investing, allowing clients to execute, buy and sell orders online. Quote: "A man can succeed…

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Greatest Franchising Entrepreneurs of All Time

By Michael Garrett / May 6, 2008 /

Ray Kroc 1902-1984 Ray Kroc died in 1984, just a few short months before McDonald’s sold its 50 billionth hamburger. One of the most well known success stories in American business history, Kroc developed a sophisticated operating system that essentially put hamburgers on an assembly line. He perfected processes and imposed such discipline on the…

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Greatest Hospitality Entrepreneurs of All Time

By Michael Garrett / May 6, 2008 /

William Becker 1921-2007 Paul Greene 1914-1994 They weren't the first to create no-frills lodging, but William Becker and Paul Greene reinvented the budget hotel in 1962 when they opened their first Motel 6 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Their predecessors, Best Western and Holiday Inn, wanted to sidestep the proletarian image of "motor" or "highway hotels"…

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Greatest Industrial Entrepreneurs of All Time

By Shelby Skrhak / May 6, 2008 /

Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790 No list of greatest entrepreneurs would be complete without America's original entrepreneur, Benjamin Franklin. He was a printer and self-taught writer whose witty conversational writing style made his Pennsylvania Gazette and Poor Richard's Almanack the most successful publications in the country. His printing operations were so successful that he franchised printing in…

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Greatest Internet Entrepreneurs of All Time

By Michael Garrett / May 6, 2008 /

Jeff Bezos b. 1964 Jeff Bezos didn't invent online shopping, but his little online-bookstore experiment has changed the way consumers purchase almost anything–books, music, clothing, jewelry and, most recently, wine. The founder and CEO of Amazon.com survived the dot-com bust of the 1990s with a handful of contemporaries such as eBay, Yahoo and Google. And…

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Greatest Media Entrepreneurs of All Time

By Michael Garrett / May 6, 2008 /

Martha Stewart b. 1941 Author, one-time caterer, publisher and TV personality Martha Stewart did one thing better than anything else; the lifestyle maven understood the power of her brand and consolidated it in 1997 as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Oh, and she staged a pretty good comeback in 2005 after serving five months in jail.…

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Greatest Retail Entrepreneurs of All Time

By Michael Garrett / May 6, 2008 /

Aaron Montgomery Ward 1843-1913 Open your mailbox and thank Aaron Montgomery Ward for what's inside. The retail magnate is most noted for his innovation in mail-order catalogs for department stores. Working as a door-to-door salesman for a dry-goods wholesaler, he noted the disparity between the cash prices farmers received and high retail store prices. In…

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Greatest Technology Entrepreneurs of All Time

By Michael Garrett / May 6, 2008 /

George Eastman 1854-1932 George Eastman made photography an amateur sport. When competition in the camera industry heated up, he shifted his attention and created the film roll, which replaced cumbersome glass plates that required more complicated processing. The innovation also became the basis for motion picture film. Eastman obtained a patent for a camera to…

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Greatest Transportation Entrepreneurs of All Time

By Michael Garrett / May 6, 2008 /

Herb Kelleher b. 1931 What started as a regional carrier serving Dallas, Houston and San Antonio became one of the industry’s pioneering low-cost, no-frills airlines. Founded by Herb Kelleher and partner Rollin King in 1967, Southwest Airlines posted its 35th consecutive year of profitability in 2007. The airline has been known for campy antics—flight attendants singing…

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Greatest Consumer Good Entrepreneurs of All Time

By Michael Garrett / May 6, 2008 /

Estée Lauder 1908-2004 It’s not that the queen of cosmetics, Estée Lauder, didn’t trust others to do the dirty work; she just loved her company so much she insisted on getting her hands dirty with every little detail. Starting with skin creams concocted by her chemist uncle, she sold the products at beauty shops and…

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