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Thomas Lipton
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Entrepreneur
    (May 10, 1848-October 2, 1931)
    Born in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
    Established a chain of grocery stores in the United Kingdom
    Founded Lipton Tea (1890)
    Competed (and lost) in five America's Cup races (1899-1930)
    Knighted (1901)
    Named Baronet of Osidge (1902)
    He left school at age 13, admitting 'I cannot say I was either a favorite or a diligent pupil.'
    The elite Royal Yacht Squadron refused to admit him until shortly before his death.
    He lost five consecutive America's Cups, making him yachting's answer to the Buffalo Bills.
    He hid his homosexuality by cultivating a public image as a ladies man, and explained his failure to have a long-term relationship with a woman by saying none of them measured up to his mother.
    By bypassing the traditional trading and distribution channels, he was able to greatly reduce the cost of tea and market it to the working class.
    His formula for business success: 'Work hard, deal honestly, exercise careful judgment, advertise freely but judiciously.'
    He donated £20,000 to provide meals for the poor of London during Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (1897).
    During World War I, he placed his yachts at the disposal of the Red Cross for the transport of doctors, nurses, and medical supplies.
    He was awarded a special gold cup for his sportsmanship in yachting.

Credit: C. Fishel


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