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1972 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Floyd Odlum*


"Find something that you love to do and you will be successful."

Floyd Odlum, the son of a Methodist minister, was born in 1892 in Union City, Michigan. He began working to support himself at a young age delivering milk and working on a farm. Odlum put himself through college and law school by working as an assistant librarian, taking tickets at the Chautauqua grounds, and managing the college paper and dramatic club. He served as head of the American Arbitration Association, the New York Neurological Institute, the Arthritis Foundation, and the Lovelace Foundation for Medical Research. He never asked for any salary at any time, but by 1932, he was one of the wealthiest men in the country. He owned Atlas Corporation, RKO Studios, Northeast Airlines, Bonwit Teller, and other businesses. For his service during the war, Floyd Odlum received the French Legion of Honor and the Certificate of Merit from President Truman.

* Deceased