1957 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"Work hard, take each job as it comes, and look for opportunities."
John Bentia's parents were immigrants from Romania who met in the United States. His father worked as a laborer at a local foundry shop and his mother worked in a factory. Young John had his first job at the age of five, selling newspapers to help support the family. While going to school, he worked on neighboring farm and local construction crews. He also drove a truck.
Bentia graduated from Mount Union College in 1940, having worked his way through school operating presses and working in a nearby forging plant. After graduating from Mount Union, Bentia got a job at the Alliance Manufacturing Company as a stock boy. He quickly worked his way up the ladder by moving into the sales and purchasing departments. He became vice president in charge of sales, vice president of the company as a whole, executive vice president, and then president.* Deceased