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1958 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Raymond E. Salvati*

Island Creek Coal Company

"If you work hard, you can always find a way to succeed."

At the age of seven, and wearing a brace because of a polio attack, Raymond Salvati sold newspapers on the streets of his hometown of Monongah, West Virginia. When he was 10, he was able to discard the brace and went to work as a shoe-shine boy in a barber shop. By the time he was 13, he was a full-fledged barber and worked from dawn until midnight each Saturday to support himself. To work his way through college, he sold pots and pans door to door in the summer. He graduated from college as an honor student and went to work as a laborer for Island Creek Coal Company. He became president of the coal company 27 years later. Under his leadership, Island Creek became the third largest commercial coal producer in the world, with annual sales of $125 million in 1957.

* Deceased