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1953 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Byron A. Gray*

International Shoe Company

"Opportunity for progress is greater than ever before."

At the age of 13, Byron Gray worked as an office boy in the St. Louis office of an insurance company for $3 a week. Seven years later, he left to work as a clerk in the accounting department of the Roberts, Johnson & Rand Shoe Company, which later became the International Shoe Company. His position was the result of a chance remark engendered by seven years of diligence and integrity. Gray's employer was having lunch with the president of the shoe company when he casually mentioned that he had a promising young man who "has gone about as far as he can in our small office." His ability steadily brought increasing responsibilities, and he worked his way up though auditor to president. In 1950, he was elected chairman of the board.

* Deceased