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1972 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Henry G. Walter*


U.S. Steel

"Work hard and apply yourself to each job."

Born in a Chicago ghetto, Henry Walter left school after the eighth grade to help support his family. He ultimately graduated from Northwestern University and the Walton School of Commerce by attending night school for 11 years. Hard work and applying himself to his duties made it possible for him to go from office clerk in a small office in 1921 to president of Gerrard Steel Strapping Company in 1934. U.S. Steel Corporation acquired Gerrard in 1936 and kept Walter on as president of the division. He remained in that position until he retired in 1957. During his retirement, Walter devoted himself to raising funds for philanthropic causes. He raised more than $23 million for non-profit institutions such as Michigan State University, Elmhurst College, Central DuPage Hospital, United Cerebral Palsy, and various Lutheran institutions. In addition, he led campaigns to raise $30 million for the Illinois Masonic Medical Center and $6.5 million for the Lincoln Park Zoological Society of Chicago. Walter was a member of the Simon Peter Lutheran Church of Chicago for more than 75 years.

* Deceased