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S.S. Kresge
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Entrepreneur
    (July 31, 1867-October 18, 1966)
    Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was Sebastian Spering Kresge
    Founded the S.S. Kresge department store chain (1899)
    He started as a teacher, but gave up after one term.
    He gave up golf because he could not stand the cost of lost balls.
    The first two of his three wives divorced him over his miserliness.
    Barely more than a decade after his death, the company he founded dropped his name and rebranded itself as Kmart.
    He started keeping bees as a boy, working his way up from a single hive to more than thirty.
    He continued beekeeping as a hobby as an adult, crediting bees with reminding him of the importance of industriousness.
    He was inspired to start his own department store after meeting F.W. Woolworth while working as a traveling salesman.
    He was one of the first retailers to offer employees paid vacations, pensions, and profit-sharing plans.
    By the time he died, he had given 90% of his personal fortune to the charitable Kresge Foundation.

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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