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1984 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Earle M. Jorgensen*

Chairman Emeritus
Earle M. Jorgensen Company

"I had a lot of help from a lot of people, and they were all strangers."

The only son of Danish immigrants living in San Francisco, Earle Jorgensen had to drop out of school at 14 to help support his widowed mother. He earned $25 a month working as an office boy, and then served in World War I. After the war, he settled in Los Angeles and went into business for himself as a salvage broker. With a $20,000 loan from a stranger who befriended him, Jorgensen created an empire that became the largest independent steel distributor in the nation. His favorite slogan was, "Hustle-that's all."

* Deceased