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1994 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Bernie Little, Sr.*

Bernie Little Distributors, Inc.

"I was always very determined in whatever I was going to do."

Born and raised in Macomb, Ohio, during the Depression, Bernie Little was forced to leave school in the eighth grade to help with his family's finances. He delivered newspapers and caddied at a local golf course. During World War II, he joined the Navy when he was only 17. After the war ended, Little pursued his love of flying. He worked as a stunt pilot and eventually bought a car dealership. He also leased airports and sold and leased airplanes. In 1962, Little became the owner of an Unlimited hydroplane racing boat he called the Miss Budweiser. For the next 40 years, he became the owner with the most wins in the sport's history, which earned him the title "King of the Boats." Little felt his greatest contribution to the sport was the development of the enclosed cockpit, making it safer for the pilots to travel at high speeds.

* Deceased