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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

Jeremy Rich

politician and businessman, was born on 5 October 1963 in the town of Pweto in the southern province of Katanga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC The full details of his family background are not known but they belonged to the Bemba ethnic minority community Katumba Mwanke went to the primary school in Pweto and then continued his education at the Imara secondary school in the Katangese provincial capital of Lubumbashi After graduation from Imara Katumba Mwanke attended the University of Kinshasa in the nation s capital where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering in the 1980s Katumba Mwanke s facility for mathematics ultimately led him away from the academic world and into finance Like many other Congolese Katumba Mwanke immigrated to South Africa to further his career The Equator HSBC bank hired him there At the bank Katumba Mwanke s formidable negotiation skills and ...

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

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 ...

Article

Heidi L. Scott Giusto

Victoria Woodhull was an advocate of humanitarian and social reform, free love, and spiritualism, positions that brought her considerable notoriety. She ran in the 1872 election on the ticket of the newly formed Equal Rights Party, with Frederick Douglass as her vice presidential running mate. Douglass, who was nominated without consent, did not attend the convention. Years later, in 1887, the two finally met in Rome and had a pleasant encounter.

Instability and turmoil marked Woodhull's life. Born in Homer, Ohio, she received only three years of education in her hometown's Methodist church. Public pressure forced Reuben Buckman Claflin, Woodhull's alcoholic father, to move his family from Homer after coming under suspicion for intentionally setting fire to a gristmill he owned. In 1853 Victoria Claflin wed Canning Woodhull, but the couple divorced in 1865 after having two children During her marriage to Canning Woodhull she became ...