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1963 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Bernard Castro*

Castro Convertible Corporation

"My energy and ambition took me to the highest heights of the business world."

Bernard Castro, an Italian immigrant, arrived in this country in 1919 at age 15. Although he knew no English and was a stranger in a new world, he had ambition and energy. He went to night school to learn English and spent many hours working as an apprentice upholsterer. This experience taught him the secrets of furniture design. In 1931, in the midst of the Depression, he borrowed $300 to launch his own business. His company, Castro Convertibles, was the first to introduce the modern sofa bed mechanism, and in the post-World War II era became one of the largest furniture retailers on the East Coast. In 1963, Castro was the world's largest manufacturer of convertible furniture selling directly to the consumer. The company had 46 showrooms located between Massachusetts and Florida and six large factories. Today it has been consolidated into another furniture company.

* Deceased