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Jodie N. Mader

diamond magnate, financier, imperialist, and philanthropist in southern Africa, was born in Hamburg, Germany, the eldest of six children. His father was an affluent merchant. Beit performed poorly in school, and in his teens he was sent to be an apprentice at the office of Jules Porges and Company in Amsterdam. In 1875, Beit went to Kimberley, South Africa, as a representative of the firm. While in Africa he went into property speculation and joined up with a young German named Julius Wernher. These two men formed the Wernher, Beit, and Company firm, which was known for its deep-level mining and use of cyanide processing for treating gold ore. His most famous friendship was with Cecil Rhodes, an English financier. They formed the De Beers Mining Company. Much of Rhodes’s success depended on the financial advice he received from Beit.

Together Rhodes and Beit worked to drive out other ...

Article

Diane L. Barnes

James Needham Buffum was born in North Berwick, Maine, to Quaker parents. Buffum trained as a carpenter and established his own business as a house contractor in Lynn, Massachusetts. He grew wealthy through his business pursuits, which he expanded to include activities as a real estate speculator and financier. Dissatisfied with Quaker positions on reform, Buffum became an advocate of immediate abolition and a strong supporter of William Lloyd Garrison. Having independent means, Buffum traveled widely in the company of Garrison, Frederick Douglass and others on the antislavery lecture circuit He withdrew from the Society of Friends and adopted a radicalism that rejected established religion and politics as tools available to the abolitionist Garrison mentioned Buffum frequently in his correspondence often calling him my true hearted friend Buffum joined a variety of antislavery organizations serving as chair of the finance committee and as a vice president ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

businessman, was born in the southern province of Katanga, which was then part of the Belgian Congo, and is now in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He belonged to the Lunda ethnic community, whose rulers controlled the southern regions of Katanga and made claim to border regions of present day Zambia and Angola. Despite his fame as a business leader and the notoriety of his son Moïse Tshombe Kapenda, very little is available about his early years. What is clear is that his attitude about the growing Belgian political and economic presence in Lunda territory was quite different from some late nineteenth-century Lunda political authorities. Rather than seeing the Belgian conquest as a defeat, Kapenda recognized the potential of colonial rule as a source of new commercial networks and clients. He first entered business on his own in 1914 and began trading in his hometown of Sandoa located ...

Article

Kissette Bundy

lawyer and arbitrageur who was the first African American to own a Fortune 500 business. Reginald Francis Lewis was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Clinton Lewis, a restaurateur, and Carolyn Cooper Lewis, who was seventeen at the time of her son's birth. Lewis and his mother lived with his grandparents, Sue and Sam Cooper, after his parents divorced. The Cooper clan resided in the segregated working-class neighborhood of East Baltimore. Reginald's grandfather held several service positions, while his wife raised their eight children and two of her nieces and labored as a domestic. The values of family, work ethic, and enjoyment of the finer things in life would balance Lewis's bullish rise to the financial elite.

In 1951, Reginald's mother married Jean S. Fugett Sr. an army soldier who purchased the family home in West Baltimore through the GI Bill Lewis soon had five brothers ...

Article

Although he disliked the term, Reginald Lewis was often called the “Jackie Robinson of Wall Street” and was considered “the man who broke the color barrier in large-scale mergers and acquisitions and leveraged buyouts.” In 1987, with his firm TLC, Lewis orchestrated the largest offshore leveraged buyout in business history, paying $985 million for Beatrice International Foods. With subsidiaries on almost every continent, the renamed TLC-Beatrice International became the largest black-owned firm in the United States, and TLC's acquisition of Beatrice Foods made Lewis one of the most prominent African American businessmen.

Lewis was born in Baltimore, Maryland. His parents separated when he was nine, but he grew up in a supportive, middle-class atmosphere in Baltimore. By the age of ten, Lewis had gotten a job delivering the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper and he stored the money he earned in a tin can he labeled Reggie s ...

Article

Saul Engelbourg

arbitrager and business executive, was born in Baltimore, the son of Clinton Lewis, a skilled worker and small-businessman and Carolyn Cooper. Lewis was strongly influenced by his mother, especially because his parents divorced during his childhood. His mother married Jean S. Fugett Sr. in 1951. An elementary school teacher, Fugett was a graduate of Morgan State College and had five sons and daughters.

Lewis attended a Catholic grade school but was not admitted to a Catholic high school because of low test scores and discrimination against blacks Instead he attended the black public Paul Laurence Dunbar High School where he starred in three sports football baseball and basketball Academically below average because of his weakness in the sciences Lewis received a football scholarship from Virginia State College in Petersburg a black public institution After his freshman year Lewis withdrew from football because of a shoulder injury ...

Article

Saul Engelbourg

Lewis, Reginald Francis (07 December 1942–18 January 1993), arbitrager and business executive, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Clinton Lewis, a skilled worker and small businessman, and Carolyn Cooper. Lewis was strongly influenced by his mother, especially since his African-American parents divorced during his childhood. His mother married Jean S. Fugett, Sr., in 1951. An elementary school teacher, he was a graduate of Morgan State College and had five sons and daughters.

Lewis attended a Catholic grade school but was not admitted to a Catholic high school because of low test scores and discrimination against blacks Instead he attended the black Paul Laurence Dunbar public high school where he starred in three sports football baseball and basketball Academically below the median because of his weakness in the sciences Lewis received a football scholarship from Virginia State College in Petersburg Virginia a black public institution After ...

Article

Inge Mariëtte Ruigrok

Angolan businesswoman, was born on 18 July 1973 in Baku, Azerbaijan. She is the eldest daughter of José Eduardo dos Santos, president of Angola (1979– ) and his first wife, the Russian-born Tatiana Kukanova. José Eduardo dos Santos had moved to the former Soviet Union in the 1970s to obtain an engineering degree from the Azerbaijan Oil and Chemistry Institute in Baku, Azerbaijan. He later divorced Kukanova and married Ana Paula dos Santos, with whom he had two children, José Filomeno and Tchizé, who are thus half siblings of Isabel dos Santos.

Although she spent most of her childhood in Angola, Isabel dos Santos lived in London for many years with her mother, where she studied management and electrical engineering. After having worked as a consultant for the Angolan oil firm Sonangol after she completed her studies, she relocated to Angola in 1996 In a period of less than ...

Article

Leslie H. Fishel

Stephen Smith was born near Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, the son of an unknown father and Nancy Smith (maiden name unknown), a Cochran family servant. On July 10, 1801Thomas Boude, a former revolutionary war officer from Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, purchased the boy's indenture. As Smith grew to manhood, he proved so able that Boude eventually made him manager of his entire lumber business.

On January 3, 1816 Smith borrowed $50 to purchase his freedom from Boude. Later that year Smith married Harriet Lee, a domestic servant in the Jonathan Mifflin home. They had no children. Free of his indenture, Smith entered the lumber business for himself, while his wife ran an oyster house. In 1820 his one and a half lots were valued at $300 Thirteen years later he owned six houses and lots worth $3 000 stocks and bonds of equal value a ...

Article

Leslie H. Fishel

businessman and minister, was born near Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, the son of an unknown father and Nancy Smith (maiden name unknown), a Cochran family servant. On 10 July 1801Thomas Boude, a former revolutionary war officer from Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, purchased the boy's indenture. As Smith grew to manhood he proved so able that Boude eventually made him manager of his entire lumber business.

On 3 January 1816 Smith borrowed fifty dollars to purchase his freedom from Boude. Later that year Smith married Harriet Lee, a domestic servant in the Jonathan Mifflin home; they had no children. Free of his indenture, Smith entered the lumber business for himself, while his wife ran an oyster house. In 1820 his one and a half lots were valued at three hundred dollars thirteen years later he owned six houses and lots worth three thousand dollars stocks and ...