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1952 Horatio Alger Award Winner

James J. Kerrigan*

Chairman of the Executive Committee
Merck & Company

"I had a burning ambition to learn all I could so that I might be prepared for the next step when opportunity knocked."

At the age of 13, James Kerrigan left school to help support his family. He found a job with Merck & Co., a small medicinal chemical firm with an office in New York and a factory in Rahway, New Jersey. As a "bench boy," he delivered the firm's products in Manhattan, working 11 hours a day. By the time he was 17, he had held nine progressively important jobs in the company and his rapid rise continued. In 1950, he was elected president of Merck and eventually became the company's chairman of the executive committee.

* Deceased