Find a Member:

1957 Horatio Alger Award Winner

John H. Ware*

Chairman of the Board
American Water Works Company

"Use your God-given talents to the best of your ability."

John Ware was in business for himself while still in grammar school in Philadelphia. He had a paper route and earned a few extra dollars making minor electrical repairs in neighborhood homes. He was still in his early teens when he earned $100 by installing the second alternating-current motor in Philadelphia. The current powered a freight elevator in a wool-packing plant. His reputation as a "young genius" with electricity brought him more work than he could handle in his spare time, so he quit school to go into business on a full-time basis. His business flourished and by the age of 39 he had earned enough money to retire. However, his managerial talents in the utilities field attracted nationwide attention and he was asked to take over the management of a water company that was in financial difficulty. He put the company back on its feet and found himself involved in a new career. Ware became chairman of the board of Northeastern Water Company and of American Water Works Company, the two largest privately owned waterworks systems in the world, with more than 4 million customers in 20 states.

* Deceased