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1966 Horatio Alger Award Winner

William F. Foster*

Merit Clothing Company

"Hard work is the key to reaching worthwhile objectives."

William Foster was born to hard-working parents on a small farm near Mayfield, Kentucky. Early in his life he learned that pitching in and working hard are the keys to reaching worthwhile objectives. Foster attended a one-room country school near his home. He later borrowed $100 to attend a business school where he completed a 12-month course in half that time. He learned how to type, keep books, and take shorthand. His first job was as an office boy at the Merit Clothing Company, where he earned $5 a week. He soon became secretary to the general manager. In rapid succession, he was named assistant credit manager and then, in 1942, he became president and general manager. The Merit Clothing Company was founded in 1899 with 20 employees. It grew steadily under Foster's leadership. His boundless energy placed him in the leadership of civic campaigns that have bettered the lives of all Kentuckians.

* Deceased