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1950 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Thomas E. Courtney*

Former President
Northern Illinois Corporation

"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