1961 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"Believe in yourself and your ideas."
John A. Barr was born on a farm near Akron, Indiana. He attended a one-room school and performed the usual duties required of farm boys. He worked his way through DePauw University as a part-time waiter. Two years later, he transferred to Indiana University, where he studied law, working as a waiter and as a student librarian. Barr graduated from law school with honors in 1930 and in 1933 joined Montgomery Ward as an attorney. In 1935, he worked for a law firm in Gary, Indiana, and returned to Ward's legal staff in 1938. He played an important role in defending Ward's position in the highly publicized seizure of the company by the government on orders of President Roosevelt. The seizure was declared illegal by U. S. courts. In 1949, he was named vice president and secretary. In 1955, he became chairman.* Deceased