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.”

Outside of the field of product and transportation design, too few people know who Raymond Loewy was. The best-known industrial designer, founder of the industrial design profession, and member of the pantheon of our greatest designers, it is time for...
The technologies of today are built upon those of the past, and the superstars of our era would be nothing without the great leaders of the past. We often discuss our favorite “tech” entrepreneurs. Steve Jobs, Bill...
Few industries have had a greater impact on the world than our airline system. This global network was built over a period of forty years by a handful of leaders who pioneered on dangerous and shaky grounds. Pre-eminent among them...
Today, the Estée Lauder Companies have become among the most important cosmetics companies in the world—against huge odds and well-established competitors. Estée Lauder was a very real person, born to an immigrant hardware store owner and his...
On February 11, 1898, John Charles Smith of Toronto hit his head and died of a cerebral hemorrhage. The Irishman left behind his wife, Charlotte; five-year-old daughter, Gladys; another daughter, Lottie; and a son Jack. Destitute, Charlotte struggled to keep...
Conrad Hilton left his hometown of San Antonio, New Mexico at the age of 31 to buy a bank in Texas—oil country. But after Hilton found a bank to purchase in Cisco, the owner raised the price at the last minute. Refusing to buy the bank, Hilton headed to a local, run-down hotel to spend the night. After seeing all of the traffic at the hotel, Hilton inquired about buying it instead. That hotel, The Mobley, would be the first in an expansive business empire.

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