Contact: Lindsay Hyman
William Alfred Cook Named 2010 Horatio Alger Award Recipient
Cook Group Incorporated Founder and CEO to be Inducted in April 2010 Washington, D.C., for Overcoming Adversity
WASHINGTON, January 13, 2010 –The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is pleased to announce that William Alfred Cook, founder and chief executive officer of Cook Group Incorporated, will receive the 2010 Horatio Alger Award in recognition of his personal and professional success despite humble and challenging beginnings.
Cook will be formally inducted into the association when he accepts the Horatio Alger Award on April 9, 2010, in Washington, D.C. Recipients of the award have overcome great adversity to achieve admirable accomplishments, to serve as examples of achieving the American Dream, and to offer their time and resources to help others in need.
“We are delighted to induct these individuals into the Horatio Alger Association and to honor their stories of success in the face of significant struggle,” said David L. Sokol, president and CEO of the Horatio Alger Association. “We believe that adversity builds character, and William Alfred Cook’s story is no exception. Cook’s life story of strength, resolve and achievement is commendable, and he will help fulfill our mission of helping other young people achieve similar success.”
William Alfred Cook was born in 1931 in Mattoon, Illinois. His father was a nomadic magazine and insurance salesman who wanted his family with him as he traveled for his job. They lived in one cheap hotel after another throughout the Depression. By the time Cook finished first grade, he had attended nine schools in three states. After graduating from high school in 1949, Cook entered Northwestern University. He majored in biology and minored in chemistry with the intent of becoming a doctor. After graduation, he joined the Army and served at the Brooke Army Medical Center burn unit in San Antonio. That experience ended his desire to be a doctor after he discovered he was more interested in the mechanical aspect of medicine.
In 1958, Cook co-founded MPL Incorporated, which became the third largest hypodermic needle manufacturer in the United States. At the age of 32 he founded Cook Incorporated. Using a blowtorch and soldering iron, Cook built a catheter that could be used with radiology, thus avoiding the need for exploratory surgery on patients. Since then, his company has become a conglomerate, Cook Group Incorporated, with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Australia, Denmark, and Ireland, and with sales organizations throughout the world.
Cook will be honored among 10 other remarkable individuals who will receive the 2010 award for their hard work, self-reliance and perseverance:
- Albert T. Annexstad, Chairman, Federated Insurance Companies
- Tommy Ray Franks, Former Commander-in-Chief, US Central Command, and Chairman, Franks & Associates
- Joseph M. “Jody” Grant, Partner and Senior Advisor, BankCap Partners, and Chairman Emeritus, Texas Capital Bank
- Jenard M. Gross, President, Gross Investments
- Lawrence Mead Higby, CEO (Retired), Vice Chairman and Advisor, Apria Healthcare Group Inc.
- Richard D. Holland, Philanthropist and Chairman (Retired), Rollheiser Holland Kahler Advertising
- Alan B. Miller, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Health Services, Inc.
- Condoleezza Rice, Former Secretary of State, US Department of State, and Provost, Stanford University
- James M. Seneff Jr., Founder and CEO, CNL Financial Group, Inc.
- Earl W. Stafford Sr., Chief Executive Officer, The Wentworth Group LLC, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Stafford Foundation, Inc.
In addition, the 2010 Norman Vincent Peale Award will be presented to Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. The Norman Vincent Peale Award is annually conferred on an association member who has made exceptional humanitarian contributions to society, who has been an active participant in the association, and who continues to exhibit courage, tenacity and integrity in the face of great challenges. The award is named in honor of Dr. Peale, who was an outstanding leader of the association for more than 40 years.
The 2010 members will receive their awards at the 2010 Horatio Alger Awards Induction Ceremonies April 8-10, 2010. Activities include three days of meetings and celebrations in some of the nation’s most historic buildings. The Horatio Alger National Scholars, remarkable high school seniors who have excelled despite adversity, also will be formally honored during the three-day gathering.
A complete list of all of the Horatio Alger Members can be found at http://www.horatioalger.org/members.cfm.
About The Horatio Alger Association
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans continues to fulfill its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. The Horatio Alger Association offers three annual scholarship programs: the National Scholarship Program, state scholarship rpograms, and graduate grants. The association awards nearly $7 million annually in college scholarships and has given more than $70 million to deserving students since 1984. The association is a 2009 Combined Federal Campaign participant, ID# 77062. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
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