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1967 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Davre J. Davidson*

Founder
ARA Services, Inc.

"Be willing to take a risk on yourself and your abilities."

Davre Davidson was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1911. He attended college for one year and then, in 1936, founded a small vending business on just $500 of borrowed capital. By 1939, the business had grown to the point where his brother could join him, and the firm was renamed Davidson Brothers, which in 1959 became Automatic Retailers of America, or ARA. Davidson served as president and CEO from 1959 to 1964, and then as chairman of the board and CEO. In 1960, the company went public. One year later, ARA acquired the country's largest food service business, making ARA a diversified service provider. Today, the company is known as ARAMARK and has 240,000 employees in 20 countries. In retirement, Davidson became involved in educational and community activities. He was an active board member with the Boy Scouts, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and the University of Southern California School of Business Administration.

* Deceased