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1949 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Earl W. Muntz*

Muntz T.V., Inc.

"Your living room is our show room."

Earl Muntz was born in 1914 in Elgin, Illinois. He dropped out of high school and opened a used car lot by the time he was 20. He was too young to sign contracts, so he had his mother sign all of the sales paperwork. A few years later, he moved to California and opened the largest Kaiser-Frasier car dealership. In the early 1950s he designed a television that used 17 tubes rather than the 30 tubes in current use. Muntz is credited with coming up with the term "TV" for television, and even named his daughter Tee Vee. He later invented the Muntz Stereo-Pak 4-track tape cartridge, a predecessor of the 8-track cartridge. Muntz's flamboyant billboards and television commercials for his various businesses made him famous and his stunts in commercials earned him the nickname Madman Muntz.

* Deceased