When people talk about great American leaders in our nation’s history, they often speak of war heroes, politicians, civil rights activists, or religious leadership. Undoubtedly, these are great Americans, but we cannot forget about the entrepreneurs who have changed the world with their ideas and actions.
Pause for a moment and take a look around at all of the goods and services that make your life a walk in the park—your car in the driveway, mail service, your computer, etc. These goods and services were non-existent until an entrepreneur with the will to fulfill an idea came along.
Some of the greatest American business leaders in history who have changed not only America but also the world as a whole include:
1. John Davison Rockefeller Sr. – American industrialist. He co-founded the Standard Oil Company which was a pacesetter in the oil business during his time.
2. Henry Ford – American industrialist. He established the Ford Motor Company on June 16, 1903 and was the brains behind the company’s revolutionary assembly line system for the mass production of automobiles.
3. Andrew Carnegie – Scottish-American industrialist. He pioneered the evolution of the American steel industry in the late 19th century.
4. Thomas Alva Edison – American Inventor and business person. He invented many devices that changed the world, including the motion picture camera, phonograph, and an efficient electric light bulb.
5. Samuel Moore Walton – American business person and entrepreneur. He founded Walmart and Sam’s Club.
6. John Pierpont Morgan – American investor who dominated industrial consolidation and corporate finance in the 19th century.
7. William Henry “Bill” Gates III – American business magnate, entrepreneur, programmer, and philanthropist. Bill Gates and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and the company grew to be the largest PC software company in the world.
Truly there is no greater asset to America and America’s future than those that bring to market, through free enterprise, all the things that elevate our standard of living and quality of life. These movers and shakers are indeed the ones who make it all happen.