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1980 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Gilbert F. Richards*

Chairman and CEO, Retired
The Budd Company

"You get out of something what you put into it."

Gilbert Richards spent his early years on his grandfather's Iowa farm homestead. As a boy, he milked cows, pumped gas, and worked on drilling crews. He rode a horse to school. When he was 16, an uncle in New Hampshire sent him to Columbia Academy in Dubuque. At 19, in 1934, he worked for a grocery store making $13 a week. Looking for new opportunities, he hitchhiked with a friend to California, where he eventually became a salesman for the Kaiser organization. Later, he joined the Budd Company, which built Amtrak's Metroliner. Richards turned the company around in the 1970s and then became its chairman. He resigned in 1980 to become full-time consultant to Budd. Richards said, "You get out of something what you put into it, and it takes hard work, hard work, hard work."

* Deceased