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1971 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Charles Stewart Mott*

Director, General Motors Corporation
Founder, The Mott Foundation

"Education is America's equalizer."

Charles Stewart Mott was born in 1875 in Newark, New Jersey. He wore clothes his mother made for him out of his father's old suits. To support himself while studying mechanical engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology, he made and installed soda-water carbonating machines. During the Spanish-American War, he served as a gunner's mate on the USS Yankee. In 1900, Mott became superintendent of a small, unprofitable wire wheel firm, the Weston-Mott Company. Under his direction, the company shifted to axle making and moved from Utica, New York, to Flint, Michigan. The company went on to become the world's largest axle company and was purchased by General Motors. Mott served as director of General Motors in 1913, and was vice president from 1916 to 1937. He was mayor of Flint for three terms and formed the C. S. Mott Foundation, famous for pioneering the community college concept.

* Deceased