1950 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"Always keep your promises."
Thomas Courtney grew up in Chicago, where his first job was selling newspapers on a busy street corner. Later, he made extra money washing cars. In 1922, without a formal education, Courtney formed Northern Illinois Corporation of DeKalb, Illinois, a multi-million-dollar finance organization. Under his supervision, Courtney's organization granted small to large loans for anything from renting a room to building a complete factory. Courtney won the Army and Navy "E" award for his significant defense contributions.* Deceased