1968 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"Don't stay in a place where you can't maintain integrity."
Marvin Chandler was born and raised in the Boston area. He attended Brookline High School and Philips Exeter Academy. In his second year at Dartmouth, just at the outset of the Depression, Chandler's father died. What had been a fairly comfortable childhood abruptly came to an end.
Chandler became a tutor and he and his younger brother shared the job of society correspondent for all the New York and other metropolitan dailies. Eventually, Chandler's brother went on to a writing career with the Boston Herald, but Marvin Chandler wanted a career in business.
He enrolled in Harvard Business School and worked his way through as a financial analyst for Poor's Publishing Company, now a part of Standard & Poor's. After receiving his master's degree, Chandler worked as a securities analyst for Charles D. Barney & Co., where he earned $100 a month. After World War II, he and two friends invested $300 to found Reis & Chandler, an advisor to large institutional investors and utility companies. In 1954, when Commonwealth Edison spun off its gas business, the Northern Illinois Gas Company, Chandler was invited to become the new company's founding executive officer. He took the job and moved to Chicago.
Chandler was CEO of the utility company until 1971, and then served as chairman of the executive committee before retiring in 1975. During his tenure, Northern Illinois Gas was the nation's sixth-largest gas distribution company.
Of his Horatio Alger Award, Chandler once said, "There is no substitute for hard work balanced with time spent with your family. You should look forward to going to the office every day. If you find the greatest thing you have to look forward to is the weekend, you are in the wrong business. At the end of your life, you should feel you are leaving the world a bit better for having lived in it."* Deceased