1958 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"A good education gives you a good start."
Benjamin Fairless went to work as a farmhand at the age of 14. After school, he cared for the horses, did the plowing, and other chores as needed. He received $9 a month and meals in this position. Starting at the age of 17, he earned $48 a month as a teacher in a one-room country school where he taught for three years. He played minor league baseball in the summer months to save enough money for tuition at Ohio Northern University, where he earned an engineering degree. He was a railroad surveyor for a year, and in 1914 took his first job in the steel industry as a transit man for the Central Steel Corp. In seven years, he became a vice president, and when Central merged with Republic Steel, he was named executive vice president. In 1935, he joined U. S. Steel as president and chairman of the board of the parent company. After his retirement he served as chairman of President Eisenhower's Committee of Citizen Advisors in reviewing foreign aid policy.* Deceased