1960 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"This country will never run out of opportunities to succeed."
John Slater was the son of a minister. He put himself through the University of Pennsylvania selling souvenirs at football games, selling magazine subscriptions, and working as a railroad trackwalker. While still an undergraduate, he joined the university faculty as an instructor in English, worked on his master's degree, ran on the track team, sang in the glee club, and wrote for campus publications. After graduation, he taught composition, public speaking, poetry, and drama at Muhlenberg College, where he also coached the track team. He lived weekends at the Deke House on the Pennsylvania campus and took over its food service in 1926. Within two years, he was serving 39 fraternities at three Philadelphia universities. Slater abandoned his teaching career and expanded his service to industry, schools, colleges, hospitals, and public restaurants from coast to coast. His company eventually had 7,000 employees and annual sales of $50 million.* Deceased