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American Originals

American Originals
American Originals will trace the stories of those who charted their own paths, overcame barriers and achieved a better life for themselves and those around them by embracing personal responsibility, hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit.

The American Dream has been caricatured as wealth accumulation and material success like owning a house or buying a car. This has done a great disservice to the American ethos and American culture. The essence of the dream is earned success, achievement, recognizing opportunity and includes an appreciation for the role of entrepreneurship and the contributions that entrepreneurs have made to society.

By highlighting these success stories, we hope to demonstrate the value that these leaders have created and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. The American Dream and being an American Original is all about ordinary people achieving extraordinary things. As Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Orel Leonard Hershiser once said: “Great things can happen to ordinary people who are willing to work hard and never give up.”

When he came into the business, most newspapers were primarily used to promote political propaganda for one side or the other, serving as outlets for outrage and opinion. Adolph Ochs changed all that, first in Chattanooga, then in New York City. Today his many descendants have absolute control of The New York Times, considered by many to be the greatest American newspaper, one that has led the world in journalistic innovations. Here is his remarkable story.
Jim Hill left poverty in rural Ontario after his father died when the son was only fourteen years old. He landed in St. Paul, Minnesota, where over the next fifty years he did more to shape the northwestern United States than any other single person. This is his story.
Like Thomas Edison, Westinghouse was a prolific inventor, but unlike Edison he successfully built and ran multiple great enterprises employing tens of thousands of workers. Those workers were treated better than at almost any other industrial employer of the era. His companies registered over one thousand patents. George Westinghouse always dreamed big and acted boldly, focused on the biggest issues in technology, attributes seen again today in dreamers like Elon Musk. This is his story.
Over the last two-and-one-half years, we at the Archbridge Institute, in conjunction with the American Business History Center, have written and published twenty-one biographical articles on “American Originals.” These men and women, black and white, immigrants and native-born, lived...
Olive Ann Beech took the helm of Beech Aircraft in 1950 when it had a $6.5 million market value. She ran the company for 30 years until she sold it to the electronics and defense giant Raytheon for $800 million ($2.4 billion in today’s dollars). American Originals presents the life story of Olive Ann Beech, from growing up in Kansas to becoming the queen of the aircraft industry.
The year 1921 was one of the worst years in the history of the American automobile business. Many companies folded in a brief but severe post-war recession as prices dropped and car inventories piled up. Walter P....

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