Henry Ford Biography

Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863 on his parent’s farm in Greenfield Township, Michigan a small town near Dearborn, Michigan. Henry Ford’s father, William Ford was from Ireland and his mother Mary Ford was born in Michigan, the daughter of Belgian immigrants who died while she was still young, Mary was adopted and raised by neighbors, the O’Herns.

Henry Ford showed an aptitude for mechanical engineering at a very young age. At the age of 13, his father gave him a pocket watch, which young Henry promptly dismantled and then reassembled. His neighbors were so impressed that they started bringing him their own watches to fix.

By the age of 15 Henry had disassembled and reassembled watches of friends and neighbors dozens of times, which earned him the respect of many and the reputation as a watch repair man.

At the age of 16, Henry’s mother died. Henry had despised farm work, but had stayed on the farm mainly due to his mother being there. Later in his life he wrote, “I never had any particular love for the farm—it was the mother on the farm I loved.”

Three years after his mother’s passing, in 1879, Henry left the farm to go to work for James F Flowers & Bro.’s as an apprentice machinist and then later with the Detroit Dry Dock Company. He returned to his father’s farm 3 years later to help out, where he learned to run the Westinghouse portable steam engine and became adept at servicing and fixing the steam engine, himself. So much so, that he was later hired by Westinghouse to service their machines. During this time he also studied bookkeeping at Goldsmith, Bryant & Stratton Business College in Detroit.

In 1888 ford married Clara Bryant and returned to the farm and running a saw mill in order to support his family, until 1891 when he was hired on by Edison Illuminating Company as an engineer. It didn’t take long before his skills were recognized by Edison Illuminating Company, and in 1893 they promoted him to chief engineer. It was at this time that his wife and he had a son whom they named Edsel Ford.

As Chief Engineer for Edison Illuminating Company, Henry was able to devote his time and resources on his experiments with gasoline engines and in 1896 Henry Ford built his first gas powered vehicle which he dubbed the “Ford Quadricycle”. Around the same time, Henry was introduced to Thomas Edison while attending a meeting of Edison Illuminating Company executives. Henry shared his Quadricycle design with Edison who was very impressed by Henry’s self-propelled vehicle. Edison encouraged Ford to continue his development of the “horseless carriage”, whereupon Ford designed and built his second vehicle in 1898.

A year after Ford built his second automobile, His genius and ingenuity came to the attention of William H. Murphy, a Detroit lumber baron. Murphy was so impressed by Ford’s ideas that he agreed to back Ford, allowing him to leave Edison Illuminating Company and open his own Automobile manufacturing plant on August 5, 1899, which was named “Detroit Automobile Company”. The company, however, was not very successful due to the high prices and low quality of the automobiles produced and the company was summarily dissolved in January 1901.

In October of 1901, with the help of C. Harold Wills, Ford was able to successfully build a 26-horsepower vehicle, which he showcased in a race that year. Due to the success of this latest automobile, Murphy, along with several other businessmen who held stock in the Detroit Automobile Company formed the “Henry Ford Company” in November of 1901 and made Ford the Chief Engineer of the company.

In 1902, Murphy brought in Henry M. Leland as a consultant which caused Ford to leave the “Henry Ford Company”. With Ford gone from the company, Murphy renamed the company to “Cadillac Automobile Company”.

Later that same year, Ford teamed up with Tom Cooper (who was a well-known racing cyclist at the time) and produced an 80-horsepower automobile which was later named the “999” in honor of the fastest locomotive at the time which won a race in October of 1902.

Henry Ford then found backing through an old friend of his, Alexander Y. Malcomson, who was a Detroit Area Coal Dealer. The two of them partnered up and formed the “Ford & Malcomson, Ltd.” company to manufacture automobiles. Ford and Malcomson leased a factory and begin work on an inexpensive automobile, contracting John and Horace E. Dodge to supply the parts for their newly manufactured automobiles.

With sales slow, Ford and Malcomson were unable to meet the payment to the Dodge brothers for the supplied parts and found it necessary to bring in more investors and to offer the Dodge brothers a share in their company. On June 16, 1903, Ford & Malcomson, Ltd. was reincorporated as the Ford Motor Company. At this time, Ford demonstrated his “999” on the ice of Lake St. Claire, setting new land speed record 91.3 miles per hour, which got the attention of race car driver Barney Oldfield. Oldfield raced the car in competitions across the country and soon the Ford Automobile became a recognized name in the United States.

In October of 1908, the Ford Motor Company introduced the Model T Ford. Ford moved the steering wheel to the left side of the vehicle, which became the standard for other automobiles, and enclosed the entire transmission and engine. The car was so easy to drive and was so inexpensive at only $825, that it soon became very popular with the public.

Sales continued to skyrocket, posting 100% gains for several years and in 1913 Ford introduced moving assembly belts in his factories, which dramatically increased production so much that by 1914 sales had passed the quarter million mark and by 1916 as the price dropped to only $360, sales increased to almost half a million units sold. By 1918, almost half of all cars sold in the United States were Model T Fords.

In December of 1918, Henry Ford turned the presidency of Ford Motor Company over to his son, Edsel Ford. Henry then opened a new company, Henry Ford and Son and made a show of moving all of his best personal to his new company in an effort to scare stockholders of Ford Motor Company into selling their stakes to him, before they lost too much value. This ruse worked and Henry and Edsel Ford ended up buying up all the stock, making them the sole owners of Ford Motor Company.

Edsel successfully ran the Ford Motor Company until May of 1943, when he died of cancer. The elderly Henry Ford resumed presidency of the company after his son’s death, until September of 1945 when he ceded the presidency to his grandson, Henry Ford II, retiring to Fairlane, his Dearborn estate, where he died a couple years later, in 1947 at the age of 83. A public viewing was held where more than 5000 people an hour filed past his casket, to pay him respects. Ford was finally laid to rest in the Ford Cemetery in Detroit.

Jeff Bezos Biography

Jeffrey P. Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico to his teenage mother, Jacklyn (Jackie) and Ted Jorgenson. Jackie’s marriage to his father lasted a little over a year. When Jeffrey was four years old, Jackie met and married Mike Bezos, who was born in Cuba. Mike Bezos escaped Cuba to the United States when he was only 15, and worked his way through the University of Albuquerque.Miguel (Mike) Bezos adopted Jeffrey and moved the family to Houston where Mike became an engineer working at Exxon.

Jeffrey didn’t find out that Mike was his adopted father until he was 10 years old, but it didn’t bother him at all. “The reality, as far as I’m concerned, is that my Dad is my natural father. The only time I ever think about it, genuinely, is when a doctor asks me to fill out a form,” Jeff told Wired in 1999.

Jeffrey’s maternal grandparents were early settlers who lived in Texas. Over the generations they had acquired a large ranch near Cotulla where young Jeffrey enjoyed his summers working with them. Jeffrey learned many different things while working at his grandparent’s ranch, such as laying pipe and fixing windmills and showed a keen interest in the mechanics of things. Even at a very early age, Jeffrey displayed some interest in how things work when, as a toddler, he tried to take his crib apart. He also showed his mechanical aptitude when he created an electric alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room and turning his parents’ garage into a laboratory for a variety of inventions and experiments.

Jeffrey’s maternal grandfather, Lawrence Preston “Pop” Gise worked for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission as a regional directed before retiring to his ranch near Cotulla. Jeffrey learned much of his love for space exploration and technology from Lawrence Gise and was quoted as telling his teachers that “The future of mankind is not on this planet.”

Jeffrey’s family moved to Miami, Florida when he was in his teens, where Jeff attended Palmetto Senior High School. While attending Palmetto Senior High, Jeffrey enrolled in the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida, where he received a Silver Knight Award. Jeffrey proved to be an outstanding student in High School, where he was made high school valedictorian and was a National Merit Scholar.

During his summers as a teen, Jeffrey worked for McDonalds for a while, but found it to be “a miserable experience”. He quit work at McDonalds and he and his girlfriend started Jeffrey’s first foray into the business world, by opening up the DREAM institute, a 10-day summer camp for kids. They charged $600 per kid, but managed to sign up 6 kids.

Upon graduating from Palmetto Senior High, Jeffrey enrolled in Princeton University and planned on studying physics. However, his love for computers made him change his mind and he ended up summa cum laude, with two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in Electrical engineering and the other in Computer Science. While attending Princeton, Jeffrey was elected to the honor societies of Phi Beta Kappa as well as Tau Beta Pi. During his time at college, he also served as the President of the Princeton chapter of the “Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.

After graduating Princeton in 1986, he turned down job offers from Intel and Bell laboratories to go to work for a startup company called Fitel that was building a network to conduct international trade. Jeff left Fitel shortly after and went to work for Bankers Trust where he quickly rose to the vice presidency, but was quickly swept away by the investment Firm D.E. Shaw where he was named the youngest vice president in 1990. It was also at this time that he met his wife Mackenzie.

In 1994, Bezos made a very risky move, leaving his lucrative career in finance to move into the world of ecommerce, much to the chagrin of his young wife. He quit his job, moving to Seattle to start up an online bookstore. He set up his business in his small two-bedroom house with extension cords running through the house to the garage. Jeffrey then set up three Sun microstations and started the first test site, asking 300 friends and acquaintances to test it out. With the code running perfectly with few glitches, on July 16, 1995 he opened his site, telling his 300 beta testers to spread the word that Amazon was open for business.

Within a month, Amazon had sold books in all 50 states and 45 foreign countries and by September it had sales of over $20,000 a week, growing faster than Jeffrey, his wife or his friends ever thought possible. When Amazon when public in 1997, many market analysts showed skepticism on whether the fledgling company would be able to hold its own when giants such as Barnes and Noble and Borders entered the internet bookselling market. But, as Jeffrey and his team continued to improve the site, offering features that were at the time unheard of, such as one-click shopping and online customer reviews, after two years the market value of Amazon was greater than both Amazon and Borders combined, with Borders making a deal with Amazon to handle all of its Internet traffic.

When Bezos originally opened Amazon to investors, he had told his original investors that there was a good chance they would lose their investment. His parents, Mike and Jackie were not to be discouraged, however and invested a major portion of their life savings, $300k into the business. His mother stated that they weren’t betting on the Internet, they were betting on Jeff. By the end of the decade, their original investment which gave them a six percent share in Amazon made them billionaires and almost one third of the company, for several years, was held by members of the Bezos family.

Jeffrey Bezos continued to add on to Amazon’s offering of books to include CD’s and Videos, clothes and electronics and wife variety of merchandise offered through major retail partnerships. During the 90’s when many dot.com’s went under Amazon continued to grow and succeed, with sales going from a little over half a million dollars in 1995, to over $15 billion in 2011.

In 2007, Amazon offered the Amazon Kindle to the public which allowed end-users to download and read books. This move saw an immediate increase in profits, which Jeffrey invested in his other interest of space exploration, by opening Blue Origin. Blue Origin, based in Seattle, is dedicated to developing technologies that promises to someday make commercial space travel a reality.

In 2011, Amazon made his mark on the tablet world when it offered the Kindle Fire and the following September, Bezos announced the next generation tablet, the Kindle Fire HD which he said was built to give Apple iPod a run for its money. In a report by ABC news, Bezos is quoted as saying “We haven’t just built the best tablet for a certain price. We’ve built the best tablet at any price!”

In 2013, Bezos shocked Wall Street when he made one of his most impressive acquisitions to date, by acquiring the Washington Post for $250 million. Bezos plans to take the Washington Post in new directions over the next decade, by utilizing the internet and find out what the readers really want. “We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment,” he said in an interview with the employees of The Post.

Recently, in December of 2013, Bezos made headlines again when he unveiled his plans for Amazon to develop “Amazon Prime Air” which will be made up of small remote controlled drones which will provide deliveries to customers. Bezos says that the drones are capable of carrying up to 5 pounds and flying with in a 10 mile radius of the distributions centers. Benzos expects the drones to be a reality by the end of the decade.

Benjamin Graham Biography

Benjamin Graham was born Benjamin Grossbaum on May 8, 1894. He was born in London England to Jewish Parents. His father, Isaac M. Grossbaum, was an importer and moved the family to America when Graham was 1 year old, opening an fledgling importation business. The business did not do very well, with Graham’s father dying shortly after arriving in America and his mother losing most of the family’s savings during an economic crises. Benjamin changed his name from Grossbaum to Graham in his early adulthood in order to fit in on Wall Street.

Graham was an exceptionally gifted student, winning a scholarship to Columbia University, which he graduated from in 1914 at the age of 20 and was invited to teach at the school. However, due to the fact that there was very little income in his family, Graham declined the teaching invitation to seek out a larger income in order to support his family, going to work on Wall Street for the firm of Newburger, Henderson and Loeb, starting at $12 per week.

Graham’s initial duties were as a delivery person and runner. Soon he was hired to write descriptions of bond issues and later was given the job of writing the daily market letter of the firm. It didn’t take too long before he began to show his true genius for financial research and analysis and at the age of 25 became a full partner with the firm, earning over $500,000 a year.

In 1923 Graham formed a an investment partnership with another broker named Jerome Newman around this time, leaving Newburger, Henderson and Loeb and in 1928, he began teaching investment classes at Columbia and continued with his lectures until his retirement in 1956.

Over a period of a few years, he worked with a former Columbia student by the name of David Dodd, using the lessons of his class to write a book title “Security Analysis” which was published in 1934. This book discussed how to evaluate a company by assessing all of its financial statements in order to gain returns without danger of financial losses. This book went on to become the go-to book for most serious investors and continues to be considered the bible of investing. One of Graham’s students was Warren Buffet, who is a renowned investor and a multi-billion dollar entrepreneur. Buffett has admitted that most of his money was made by methodically implementing what was taught in Graham and Dodd’s books.

In 1949 Graham published his second book, “The Intelligent Investor” which was equally, if not even more received with great enthusiasm from investors as the first book. The Intelligent Investor is acclaimed for its easily understood and practical methods of value investing, a subject Graham had been teaching at Columbia Business School for some years. Warren Buffett calls The Intelligent Investor “the best book about investing ever written.”

In both of his books, Graham made the distinction clear to investors between investment and speculation, explaining to his readers as he had explained to his students that an investment operation is one which, upon analysis, guarantees or nearly guarantees an adequate return on the investment. If an operation did not meet this requirement it was deemed speculative.

In his books, Graham wrote that an investment is the most intelligent when it the most businesslike investment. He said that it didn’t matter who agreed with a stock investor, that he is not right or wrong based on how many people agree with him, but rather on how much his facts and analysis are correct.

Graham was often critical of corporations in his day that made it difficult to discern the actual state of the business’s financial status, due to obfuscation and irregular financial reporting. He was also a great advocate of dividends being paid to shareholders, rather than the business keeping all of the profits as retained earnings. Graham often criticized advisors who suggested investors invest in stocks simply on the basis of sustained growth, rather than analyzing the business’s financial status.

Graham is considered today as the father of value investing. Some of his well-known students include Warren Buffett, John templeton, Walter J. Schloss, Peter Lynch, Jerome Chazen, and Joel Greenblatt, just to name a few. Buffett described him as the second most influential person in his life after his own father.

As a matter of fact, Graham had such an impact on his two of his students that they even named their sons after him, Howard Graham Buffett and Thomas Graham Kahn.

Graham passed away on September 21, 1976 at the age of 82, leaving behind a solid legacy as the Father of Security Analysis.

Richard Branson Biography

Richard Branson was born on July 18, 1950 in Blackheath, London. His father, Edward James Branson, was a barrister and his mother, Eve Huntley Branson was employed as an airline stewardess at the time of his birth, and was at one time a ballet dancer before Richard’s birth. His Paternal Grandfather was the Right Honorable Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, a judge of the High Court of Justice from 1921 to 1939 and made a member of the Privy Council in 1941.

Richard had dyslexia and found school work extremely difficult while growing up, nearly failing out of the all-boys Scaitcliffe School. He attended Scaitcliffe until he was transferred to the Stowe Boarding School in Buckinghamshire, England at the age of 13. After 3 years of the boarding school, Branson dropped out and moved back to London, where he started his first business venture.

In 1966, at only 16 years old, Branson started a youth culture magazine, called “The Student” which was produced by students for students. In its very first publication it sold over $8,000 in advertisements, which allowed Branson to distribute over 50,000 copies free of charge, by covering the cost with the advertising revenue.

In the late 1960’s branson was running his magazine, “The Student” out of a church basement, procuring interviews with popular personalities of the time, such as Mick Jagger, the magazine became highly successful. At the time, Branson was living the hippie life in a commune and aware of the drug and music scene. One of the things he was frustrated with at the time was how hard it was to get the latest records from your favorite artist. When Branson saw something that frustrated him, his first instinct was to do something about it, so in 1969 he set up a mail-order record catalogue to compliment the already successful magazine.

He named his new mail-order record business “Virgin” and sold his records at a much more reasonable price than the mainstay record outlets. The name “Virgin” was suggested by one of the writers for “The Student”, as they were all “virgins” in the business world, having never ran a business before.

Branson has said that he had never actually intended to start a business, but actually got into business by mistake. Not to make money but more out of a personal frustration. He is quoted as saying, “There is no point in starting your own business unless you do it out of a sense of frustration.”

In 1971, using s profits from his magazine and mail order business, Brandon opened a record store on Oxford Street in London, England. By making sure his records were less than any other retailer, he was able to see good growth in his record business. Using the profits from that business venture, Branson opened his own recording studio in Oxfordshire, England in 1972.

Upon launching his record label, Virgin Records with Nik Powell in 1972, Branson began looking for talent and leasing out studio time to new artists. Within the first year, he had signed an artist named Mike Oldfield whose first album, titled “Tubular Bells” became an instant hit and a chart-topping best seller for over four years. This success helped Virgin Records attract some of the top names in music at the time including such well known acts as The Rolling Stones, Culture Club, Genesis (featuring Phil Collins), and the controversial band. the Sex Pistols.

In 1980, Branson again used his profits to venture into the travel business, starting a new company called the Voyager Group and in 1984 starting the Virgin Atlantic Airline as well as opening a series of Virgin Megastores.

The competition was fierce in the airline business and in 1992, Branson found his Atlantic Airlines struggling to keep afloat. He ended up selling Virgin Records to EMI for about £500 Million, which he later said in an interview that he had wept after the sale, as the record business had been the very start of the Virgin Empire.

in 1993, Branson founded the station “Virgin Radio” as well as entering into the railway business with Virgin Trains and in 1996, he re-entered the music business with a new record company called “V2”. During that same year, Virgin acquired Euro Belgian Airlines (a European short-haul airline) and renamed it to Virgin Express.

On September 25, 2004 Branson announced that he was going to start a new space company called ‘Virgin Galactic’ which would offer space tourism. Funded by Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen and designed by Burt Rutan, the Spaceship One would take paying passengers into suborbital Space. Virgin Galactic planned on selling the tickets to the public with prices starting at $200,000 a ticket.

In 2005, Virgin Galactic partnered with Scaled Composites to form The Spaceship Company. The Spaceship Company has been trying to reach Branson’s goal of commercially available space travel since 2005, but has had numerous setbacks and has yet to see this goal.

However, The SpaceShip Company did make a considerable leap forward with the successful test launch of the SpaceShipTwo, which broke the sound barrier in April 2013. By the time the SpaceShipTwo broke the sound barrier, over 500 people had already bought their tickets for the Virgin Galactic Voyage into space.

On the fourth test flight of the SpaceShiptwo, disaster struck! On October 21, 2014 The SpaceShiptwo was launched with the newest plastic-based fuel which replaced the original rubber based fuel previously used. The Spaceship broke apart in midair, killing Michael Alsbury (Test Pilot) and seriously injuring the co-pilot Peter Siebold.

On November 2014, Christopher Hart (Chairman U.S. National Transportation Safety Board) that investigations had determined that the SpaceShipTwo’s tail system was the actual cause of the accident. It was supposed to have been released for deployment as the craft was traveling about 1 and a half times the speed of sound and it began pivoting while only traveling at the speed of sound (Mach 1). However the accident, as of the time of this writing, is still under investigation.

In early 2015, Virgin Galactic established a 150,000 sq. ft. research and development center for LauncherOne at the the Long Beach Airport. Reporting in March of 2014 that they will begin test flights of the LauncherOne by the end of 2016.

Branson’s company, Virgin group, now holds over 300 companies worldwide, operating out of more than 30 countries which include England, U.S., Canada, Asia and Australia. Branson is now considered the seventh richest citizen of the United Kingdom, according to Forbes Magazine, with an estimated net worth of almost $4.9 billion.

Lakshmi Narayan Mittal Biography

Born on 15th June 1950, Lakshmi Narayan Mittal is one of the richest men in the world. As per the information available, he stands at the sixth spot in the list of the world’s richest persons. He is the chairman as well as CEO of Mittal Steel Company operating in 14 different countries. Mittal Steel is a very reputed company worldwide and there are chances that it may earn more profits in future. Even after facing problems in his childhood and then in his business, he was able to achieve his goals because of his hard work and determination.

He was born in Rajasthan, but for setting up a steel plant his family moved to Calcutta. Pramod Mittal and Vinod Mittal are his 2 brothers who also run the Mittal Steel Company. Lakshmi Narayan Mittal is a popular name worldwide as his story from rags to riches inspires many. He was unable to afford basic necessities in his childhood, and then it’s his belief which made his business earn lot of profits.

Lakshmi Narayan Mittal is a commerce graduate. He studied Bachelor of Commerce in accounting and business at St Xavier’s College in Calcutta. While studying, he actively worked at his father’s steel plant where he learnt lot of things related to the steel business. He wanted to make his dreams come true and that’s why he shifted to Indonesia in the year 1976 where he founded his own steel plant Ispat Indo. He always had the plans to make his father’s business grow worldwide.

He knew that for having a big business, risks need to be taken and that’s why he made the decision of buying loss making state owned firms. He had the belief that he will be able to make the loss making Indonesian steel firms earn big profits and Lakshmi Narayan Mittal was able to achieve what he wanted to. In 1989, Lakshmi Narayan Mittal got huge success as he turned a loss making company which was in a worse situation into a profit making one. Day by day, Lakshmi Mittal become more confident and then he started acquiring different firms worldwide.

He got married to Usha Mittal and now has 2 children Vanisha Mittal and Aditya Mittal. They are members of Board of Directors of Mittal Steel. Lakshmi Narayan Mittal is also known for introducing the use of direct reduced iron ‘DRI’ as a substitute for steel making.

Not only his own Mittal Steel Company, but Lakshmi Narayan Mittal also holds important position in various other trusts and companies. He is a member of International Investment Council of South Africa, International Iron and Steel’s Institute Executive Committee etc. He also holds the position of Director in ICICI Bank Ltd which clearly indicates that he is interested in other businesses too.

Lakshmi Narayan Mittal wealth of $16 billion and more makes him still stand as one of the richest persons in the world. Few years back he was the richest in United Kingdom. Lakshmi Mittal has won various reputed awards including Padhma Vibushan given by President of India, Entrepreneur of the year given by Wall Street in the year 2004, Steelmaker of the year by New Steel in 1996 and European Business of the year given by Forbes.

He is definitely one of the most influential persons in the world. His daughter wedding became a very popular one worldwide as he spent more than $55 million for it. It clearly shows how important family is for Lakshmi Mittal. Mittal Champions Trust set by him has helped the Indian athletes in winning Olympic medals. Businessmen respect him as they too want to make it big by taking risks in the right way like he did. He is called by different names which are ‘Steel King’, ‘Steel Baron’ etc.

Martha Stewart Biography

Martha Stewart was born Martha Kostyra in Jersey City, New Jersey, August 3, 1941 to middle-class polish immigrant parents, Edward “Eddie” Kostyra and Martka Ruszkowski Kostyra. Martha’s mother taught her the common chores of cooking and sewing, while her father taught her about gardening, which was his great passion. Martha’s grandparents had a farm in Illinois, on which she learned how to can and preserve food while visiting.

When Martha Stewart was three, the family moved to the small community of Nutley, New Jersey, a small working-class community located near New York City. At the age of 10 Martha occasionally worked as a babysitter for players from the New York Yankees, including such famous players as Mickey Mantle, Gil McDougald and Yogi Berra as well as organizing birthday parties for Mickey Mantles four sons.

At 13 years old, Martha began modeling for television and print advertisements as well as appearing in several fashion shows. At 15 she was featured in a television commercial for Unilever as well as an advertisement for Tareyton cigarettes…

After graduating High School, Martha attended Barnard College, supplementing her scholarship through her modeling, some of which paid up to $50 which, according to Martha Stewart “was a lot of money at that time”. She originally planned on majoring in chemistry, but switched to art and European History and later took architectural history. It was during this time that she met Andrew Stewart who she married in 1961. She returned to Bernard the following year after her marriage to earn a degree in both European and Architectural history.

Six years after the birth of her daughter, Alexis Stewart, Martha Stewart began working for the boutique firm of Monness, Williams & Sidel as a stockbroker, until 1972 when the family moved to Westport, Connecticut. They purchased an 1805 farmhouse on Turkey Hill Road and began restoring it. The townhouse later became the Studio for the Martha Stewart Living television show.

After moving, Martha started her own catering business in 1976, in the basement of house, with a friend she had met while modeling, Norma Collier. The business was a great success, but then took a turn when Martha and Norma had a falling out. Norma Collier said that Martha was impossible to work with as well as accusing her of taking catering jobs on the side. Stewart bought out Collier’s portion of the catering business and begin successfully operating the catering business by herself.

In 1977 her husband, Andrew Stewart became the president of Harry N. Abrams, Inc., a prominent New York City publisher. He contracted Martha Stewart’s company to cater a book release party for the new York Times Best Seller, “The Secret Book of Gnomes” series (by Wil Hugen and Rien Poortvliet), where she met Alan Mirken, who was the head of Crown Publishing Group.

Mirken was impressed by Martha Stewart’s talents in catering and contracted her to help develop a cookbook that would feature photos from the parties Stewart catered. The resulting book, “Entertaining” was very successful, which prompted Martha Stewart to write more books. During the mid to late 80’s she released several more books through Clarkson Potter publishing, which included “Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook”, “Martha Stewart’s Hors D’oeuvres”, “Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook”, to name a few. She also was the author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles during this time as well as appearing on several different television programs. It was also during this time, in 1987 that she separated from her husband, whom she later divorced in 1990.

Shortly after her divorce in 1990, Time Publishing Ventures signed Martha Stewart to develop a new Magazine titled “Martha Stewart Living”, with Stewart acting as editor-in-chief. In 1993 she began airing a half-hour show based on her magazine. The show was so popular that it was quickly expanded to a full hour and later became a daily show. In 1995 she was prominently displayed on the cover of the May Issue of the New York Magazine with the byline ‘The Definitive American Woman of Our Time”.

In 1997 Martha Stewart partnered with Sharon Patrick and secured funding to purchase the Martha Stewart brand, including licensing for all the various television, print and merchandise, consolidating them all into a new company which she named Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. soon grew to include two magazines, a syndicated newspaper article, a cable television show and an internet site as well as several cooking, catering and how-to books. Steward acted as President and CEO and Patrick became the Chief Operating Officer of the new company. Around this time, Martha Steward announced the launching of Martha by Mail, as a companion catalogue site which also includes a direct-to-consumer floral business.

The Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia went public on October 19, 1999 initially trading at $18 per share and ending at $38 by the end of trading, making Martha Stewart the first female, self-made billionaire in the United States. Martha Stewart holds the majority of stock in her company, with a 96% control of the voting power in the company.

In 2002, it was revealed that Martha Stewart was under investigation for insider trading on the New York Stock Exchange. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Martha Stewart sold all of her almost 4000 shares of ImClone on December 27, 2001 after receiving insider information from Peter Bacanovic, her broker at Merrill Lynch. The day after her unloading the stock, the value fell 16%, after the FDA announced that it would not be approving the company’s new cancer treatment drug. Stewart resigned her position on the board of directors of the New York Stock exchange, October 3, 2002 following a deal made with Douglas Faneuli, an assistant to Bacanovic after having served on the board for just 4 months.

During her trial, in 2004, Prosecutors were able to show that Bacanovic had told Faneuli to share information with Stewart regarding the CEO of ImClone selling all of his shares before the FDA had made their ruling, with the effect of their ruling expected to cause ImClone shares to drastically drop.

The judge dismissed the securities job, In February of 2004, but a jury found her guilty of the other charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements. She was sentenced to five months in a minimum security prison and was fined $30,000. In October 2004, she served the first part of her sentence in the minimum-security facility at Alderson, West Virginia and finished her sentence by serving five months of house arrest at her home in Bedford, New York.

Upon her release from prison, on Amrch 5, 2005, Martha was offered a couple of shows by NBC, a daytime talk show and a spinoff of the popular “The Apprentice” show. The apprentice spin-off failed to attract enough viewers and was soon canceled, but “The Martha Stewart” showed a fair amount of success, until it was moved to the hallmark channel and was canceled in 2012 due to low ratings. Later in the fall of 2012, Martha Stewart launched a new show on PBS called “Martha Stewart’s cooking school”.

Mark Cuban Biography

Mark Cuban was born on July 31, 1958 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Shirley and Norton Cuban. Norton Cuban was an automobile upholsterer and his grandfather Morris Chobanisky, emigrated from Russia and changed the family name from “Chobanisky” to “Cuban” after landing on Ellis Island. Morris made his living by selling merchandise out of the back of his truck, which managed to put food on the table and a roof over his family’s head.

At the age of 12, Mark had his first foray into the business when he started selling sets of garbage bags in order to save up for a pair of very expensive basketball shoes. While attending Mount Lebanon High School, Mark held many different jobs as well as business ventures, he worked as a bartender, Disco Dancing Instructor, sold stamps and coins and billed himself as a party promoter, to name a few.

While still attending High School, in his junior year, Mark started attending college classes at the University of Pittsburgh, studying psychology. He skipped his Senior year altogether to enroll full time at the University of Pittsburgh. After his freshman year he transferred to the Indiana University and graduated in in 1981 from the Indiana Kelley School of Business with a B.S. in Business administration. He chose Kelley School of Business on the sole reason that it had the least expensive tuition out of the top 10 schools.

During his college years Mark continued to make money in order to pay his tuition by giving dancing lessons, which soon led to him hosting large dance parties at the Bloomington National Guard armory.

Upon graduating from college, Mark Cuban moved back to Pittsburgh where he got a job at Mellon Bank, as they were in the midst of switching their banks system to computers. Kelly spent this time working with computers and networking, but soon grew tired of Pittsburgh and a year later, in 1982 he packed his bags and moved to Dallas, Tx.

When Cuban arrived in Dallas, he worked briefly as a bartender, until he landed a job with Your Business Software, which was one of the first computer software dealers in Dallas. Less than a year later he was let go, due to his meeting with a client to procure new business instead of opening the store.

Using this opportunity to advance himself, Cuban opened up his own computer software and consulting business called Microsolutions. He was able to maintain his business mostly through the support of clients and customers he had garnered while working for Your Business Software. With the help of his intuitive knowledge of business and sheer determination, he was able to build his Micro solutions business up so successfully that in 1990, he sold the firm to Compuserve for a reported sum of $6 Million, pocketing almost two and a half million after taxes.

Mark Cuban was not finished with his business ventures, however, and in 1995 he and a friend who attended college at the Indiana college became partners in a business they named Audionet. Audionet was mainly formed on the bases of listening to the Indiana Hoosier College basketball games through a live web stream. The company started with only a single computer and high speed ISDN line.

As with his previous venture with Micro solutions, Cuban was able to develop AudioNet into a thriving business, changing its name to Broadcast.com in 1998. After going public, AudioNet shares reached over $200 a share and by 1999 it was reporting over $13 million in sales in the second quarter. It was then acquired by Yahoo for almost $6 billion in Yahoo stock.

Cuban, ever the businessman was not content to lay back and enjoy his wealth, but on January 4, 2000 he took some of the proceeds from his share of the stock to purchase a majority stake in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for a sum of around $285 Million from H. Ross Perot Jr.

When Cuban took over the Mavericks in 2000, they had a record of only 40 percent wins with a playoff record of 21-32, but with Maverick at the helm, the team soon started seeing an increase in wins, setting a record of 57 wins the following year and making it to the NBA finals in 2006 before losing to Miami Heat, however in June 2011, the Mavericks met the Miami Heat in the Finals again and took the NBA Title.

While with the Mavericks, Cuban has been the central point of many controversies and has garnered much media attention through the years. He has been fined over $2 million by the NBA for his controversial opinions, name calling and other actions, but has stated in an interview that he matches each fine with a charitable donation of equal amount.

When reporters questioned whether he was nuts for the way he acted, Cuban quipped, “”Before you guys were writing about me in the sports page, people were calling me crazy in the computer industry. People were calling me crazy in the systems integration industry. People said I was lucky…The more people think I’m crazy and out of my mind, typically, the better I do.”

Cuban is far from finished, as he continues to make new acquisitions and moves and shakes the business world, with his knowledge and over the top personality, Cuban has amassed not only wealth and fame, but also the admiration of many for his honesty and his trademark of not holding anything back, whether in business or in front of the media, he continues pushing the bubble and making waves.

Wendi Deng Murdoch Biography

Wendi Deng Murdoch was born on December 8, 1968 in Jinan, Shandong. Her birth name was Deng Weng Ge, which she changed in her early teens. It is reported that Wendi changed her name from Deng Weng Ge, which means “Cultural Revolution Deng” (as was her parent’s political obligation) to Wendi Deng in lieu of the more open and international attitude of China in her early teen years.

Wendi was one of four children (three daughters and one son) born to her parents who were both engineers, her father being a factory director in Guangzhou, China. Her father moved the family to Xuzhou, Jiangsu, shortly after Wendi’s birth. She attended the Xuzhou First Secondary School and Xuzhou No. 1 Middle School where she took up volleyball.

During her time at Xuzhou No. 1 Middle School, Mr Qie was her academic supervisor. Mr. Qie complained about Wendi spending too much time playing volleyball, which was causing her to lag behind other students. Qie persuaded Wendi to give up volleyball and to focus on University entry examines..

While still attending high school, her father moved again to Guangzhou to be closer to the People’s Machinery Works, which he was working at as the Factory Director.

After graduating from High School, Wendi enrolled in the Guangzhou Medical College, to study medicine. She abandoned her medical studies, in 1988 after meeting American businessman Jake Cherry and his wife Joyce, who had been temporarily relocated to Chine to help build a refrigerator factory. Wendi Studied English with Joyce, moving to the United States after Jake and Joyce sponsored her student visa. While in the United States, Wendi was enrolled in the California State University where she studied economics, receiving her bachelor’s degree in economics and an MBA from Yale School of Management.

While Wendi was living with the Cherry’s during her studies, she was discovered to be having an affair with Jake Cherry who was 30 years older than Wendi, and was kicked out of the house by his wife, Joyce. Jake soon moved in with her and, upon divorcing Joyce Cherry, married Wendi in 1990.

Wendi’s marriage to Jake lasted 2 years and 7 months, but Jake later told reporters that they had only stayed together for a few months when he had learned that Wendi was seeing David Wolf, who was much closer to her age. During her time with Jake she was, nonetheless, able to procure a green card through the marriage.

After receiving her MBA from Yale School of Management, Wendi met Bruce Churchill oversaw the finance and corporate development of Fox TV branch in Los Angeles. Churchill offered Wendi an internship at a subsidiary news corporation in Hong Kong, Star TV, which ended up developing into a full-time junior executive position. During this time she helped in planning operation of Star TV in Hong Kong and China and building up a distribution network for Star’s Channel V music channel.

While working with Star TV, Wendi met Rupert Murdock, the parent company’s (NewsCorp) chairman, at a company party in Hong Kong and in 1999, less than three weeks after Murdoch’s divorce from his second wife Anna Murdoch, Wendi and Rupert were married aboard his yacht, “The Morning Glory”.

In the autumn of 1998, Murdoch told senior executives with Star TV that his relationship with Wendi was serious and was advised by Gareth Change, Star TV’s chairman that it would be inadvisable for Wendi to remain on staff, given his personal relationship with her. Murdoch replied that this wouldn’t be a problem as Wendi would be resigning her position with Star TV and moving to New York with him.

Wendi and Rupert Murdock were married for 14 years, from 1999 to 2013, during which time they gave birth to two children, Grace (born in 2001) and Chloe (born in 2003).

In early 2012 it was reported that Rupert Murdoch began hearing rumors that his wife was having an affair with Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Rupert Murdock, at this time, began holding interviews with staff members to see if anyone had seen or heard anything regarding his Blair and his wife. According to the London Daily Telegraph, Murdoch had learned that Blair visited Deng on the Carmel ranch on more than one occasion, as well as being seen together in several other places and social situations. According to the newspaper, Blair had allegedly spent the weekend of April 27, 2013 at their house.

In June 2013, Rupert Murdoch filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences” and reached an amicable divorce settlement in November of the same year, at which time Rupert and Wendi released a joint statement saying, “We are pleased to announce that we have reached an amicable settlement of all matters relating to our divorce. We move forward with mutual respect and a shared interest in the health and happiness of our two daughters. We will not comment on this any further.”

Kerry Packer Biography

Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer was born on December 17, 1937 in Sydney Australia. His father was Sir Frank Packer, who owned and operated “Australian Consolidated Press” and the “Nine Network”. His mother was Gretel Bullmore, daughter of Herbert Bullmore, Scottish rugby player.

Kerry’s paternal grandfather was Robert Clyde Packer, who owned and managed a successful Australian newspaper in the 1920’s. Kerry’s father carried on the family journalism tradition with the immensely popular “Australian Women’s weekly” magazine. The success of this magazine helped Kerry’s father build a media empire which he passed along to Kerry on his death in 1974. At that time, the family estate was valued at more than $100 million.

During his early school years, Kerry had problems academically, suffering from polio and dyslexia. At the time, there was no diagnoses of dyslexia in Australia, and the school authorities simply thought he was just unintelligent. Kerry’s athletic skills and size, however, more than made up for what he lacked in academic skills and he excelled at most sports, participating in boxing, football, rugby and cricket.

Kerry’s father was said to once describe him as “the family idiot”, which caused Kerry to strive harder in school. When he finished school he immediately went to work for his father at Consolidated Press where he was considered the black sheep of the family, due to his preference of chasing women, drinking and fast cars over hard work.

Kerry had an older brother, Clyde Packer (named after his paternal grandfather) who was expected to inherit the family’s business and estate, but in 1972, two years before his father’s death, Clyde had a falling out with his father and was summarily disinherited, which left Kerry to inherit the family fortune.

After his father’s death in 1974, Kerry’s independent business life began when he inherited control of the family’s controlling share in PBL which was valued at the time at about $100 million (Aus).

One of the things Kerry was best known for, aside from his business acquisitions was for the founding of World Series Cricket. Packer’s intention was to secure broadcasting rights for Australian cricket, an endeavor in which his was largely successful.

In the 1977 to 1978 season Kerry commissioned the leading Test cricketers for a series of matches and what were referred to as “Super-Tests”. These matches were played in colorful costumes, often under floodlights, with sole television rights held by ACP’s Channel Nine.

The tournament which was given called “Packers Circus” was promptly barred from all official cricket grounds in Australia, under pressure from the global cricket establishment, with the cricket board also placing a ban on any cricket player signing with Packer from playing official test cricket.

As the global cricket establishment aggressively opposed Packer in the courts, Kerry countered this opposition by retaining a team of the best 10 Senior Counsels in the UK with the stipulation that they were not allowed to take on any other clients during the court case. This had the effect of denying the establishment the best legal minds for their prosecution.

In the meantime, the London High Court declared the ban on Packer’s players by the Cricket Authorities illegal, leading to a public relations coup for Packer and gaining more exposure for the WSC. As His audience increased on Channel Nine, and more players joined the WSC, the Australian Cricket Board finally agreed to end the “cricket war” with an armistice signed on May 1979.

In 1987 Kerry Packer sold the Nine Network to Alan bond for the reported price of around $1 billion (AUS). Three years later he bought it back for a fraction of that cost at only $250 Million (AUS), as Bond’s empire was collapsing under his mismanagement. Packer was later reported as saying, “You only get one Alan Bond in your lifetime, and I’ve had mine”

At the 2006 Publish Broadcasting Limited Annual General Meeting, it was revealed by Kerry’s son James of the true complexities of the deal with Bond. According to James Packer, Kerry actually received $800 million (AUS) in cash, with the remaining $250 Million (AUS) left in Bond Media as subordinated debt. As Alan Bond’s empire was collapsing, Packer converted the subordinated debt into a 37% stake in bond media.

Kerry suffered as many as four heart attacks, and in 1990 while playing Polo, Kerry is reported to have suffered from a massive heart attack that left him “clinically dead” for almost six minutes. Paramedics were called and were able to revive Kerry who was then airlifted to St. Vincent’s private hospital where he received bypass surgery.

His recovery was due in large part to the fact that the ambulance responding to the call was fitted with a defibrillator, which was very uncommon at the time. Upon recovering from surgery, Packer donated a very large sum to the Ambulance Service of South Wales in order to facilitate in them equipping all ambulances with portable defibrillators, which are affectionately known as “packer whackers”.

Kerry suffered from a chronic kidney condition for many years as well. In 2000, his helicopter pilot, Nick Ross, donated one of his own kidneys to Kerry for a kidney transplant, making headlines at the time. The transplant was documented by an Australian TV program known as “Australian Story” which was produced by the public network ABC. One of the rare occasions in which packer allowed a media interview.

On December 26, 2005, Kerry Packer died of kidney failure, nine days after his 68th birthday. He died at his home in Sydney, Australia with his family at his side. As his health was failing, Kerry instructed the doctors to not try to prolong his life by any artificial means or attempting dialysis, saying he knew that he was dying and wanted to die with dignity. His death was announced to the world by Richard Wilkins on the Nine Network’s Today Program.

Kerry Packer was survived by his wife, Roslyn Packer, his two children, Gretel and James and two grandchildren Francesca and Ben, from Gretel’s first marriage to British financier Nick Barham, and William (born after his death on 2006) from her husband Shane Murray, who married Gretel just before Packer’s passing.

Jack Welch Biography

Jack Welch was born November 19, 1935 in Peabody, Massachusetts. His Father, John Welch was a Railroad conductor and his mother, Grace, was a homemaker. Welch is Irish American, as both his paternal and maternal grandparents were Irish.

Welch attended the Salem High School and was active in many sports, including Football and Hockey. He was accepted to the University of Massachusetts Amherst late in his senior year where he studied Chemical Engineering. Welch worked at Sunoco and PPG Industries as a chemical engineer, while attending college, during the summer and graduated in 1957 with Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering.

Welch turned down many offers from some leading chemical corporations in order to attend graduate school at the University of Illinois, graduating in 1960 with a Master’s Degree as well as a PhD in chemical engineering.

After graduating, Welch worked as a Chemical engineer for General Electric Corporation, eventually working his way up to become Chairman and CEO.

Under the leadership of Welch, GE increased its market value from $12 billion to almost $300 Billion, during which time he started a policy that allowed all employees to have a small business experience at large corporation.

One of Welch’s philosophies was that a company should be number one or number two. If it wasn’t it didn’t have a reason for being open. He closed factories and made many payroll cuts in order to enhance GE’s profitability and take it to that number one position.

One of Welches policies, which has since been adopted by many other corporations, was is often called the “rank and yank”. Every year, he would fire the bottom 10% of his managers, regardless of how they performed on their jobs. He would then reward the top 20% with stock options and other bonuses.

Welch is also responsible for putting stocks into employee’s hands, instead of just top executives, with about one third of employees holding stock options in GE today. Many corporations have since followed his lead and offer stock options to employees, regardless of their position.

In his book, “Jack: Straight from the Gut”, Welch tells the story of how GE went from 411, 000 employees in 1980 to 299,000 in 1985, while increasing General Electric’s market value exponentially. He reduced much of the basic researching offices and sold off or closed any offshoot that was not performing well.

During his years with GE, Welch earned the nickname Neutron Jack, after the Neutron Bomb, as he would complete clean out a business (by firing all the employees) while leaving the business itself intact.

Upon retiring in 2001 from his Chairman position at GE in 2001, Welch has written a best-selling memoir titled “Jack, Straight from the Gut”, in which Welch explains many of the strategies he used in GE to take it where it is today.

One of these strategies which he discusses in detail is called the “Differentiation Vitality Curve” and has been called the “Rank and Yank” by many.

This is the basic philosophy that a company is made up of the top 20% who are “A” players, the middle 70%, which are the B players and the bottom 10% is made up of the C players.

Every year, Welch got rid of the bottom 10%, thus creating an atmosphere of only A and B players. In his book Welch expressed how this was easy to do in the first year, but much harder in subsequent years as each year there are more A players and B players and eventually very few C players.

While some may disagree with this strategy (and there are many who do), everyone will have to agree that, under Jacks command, General Electric grew in leaps and bounds, to become one of the leading corporations in the world.

In 2006, he gave his name to Sacred Heart University’s College of Business, known as John F Welch College of Business and he has been teaching classes at MIT Sloan School of Management. He continues to consult with Fortune 500 Businesses across the world.

There is little doubt in anybody’s mind that Jack Welch was an exceptional manager and leader, with ideas and skills that were decades before their time, he helped propel a once fledgling corporation to one of the most successful corporations in existence today and his ideas and philosophies are admired and often imitated by corporate leaders worldwide.