What do Steven Spielberg, Mary Kay Ash, George Eastman, Lillian Vernon, Howard Schultz, and George A. Hormel all have in common? They're among the more than 500 American "empire builders" who are profiled in Anthony and Diane Hallet's inspiring and informative Entrepreneur Magazine Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurs
. The comprehensive resource--which runs alphabetically from Wallace C. Abbott of Abbott Laboratories to Kurt Ziebart of Ziebart International--lays out the personal histories and professional accomplishments of both legendary and relatively unknown men and women who have made a lasting mark in business over the past two centuries.
exists to assist persons who wish to become entrepreneurs; here they present capsule biographies of well over 400 persons who succeeded in their ventures. Ranging from Jack Daniel of distillery fame, to the founders of Reader's Digest
, and from Ben and Jerry to Booz, Allen and Hamilton, these profiles are meant to inspire readers to emulate successful businesspeople. Entries of one to three pages each give a flavor of the person or persons starting the business, sometimes a photograph, and a brief history of the company to this day. The entries are arranged alphabetically by the name of the first founding owner, with all cofounders names shown and the company name underneath. Company archives are credited for most of the biographical and company information given. There is no table of contents, but there are two indexes, one by company name and one including all founders' names.
Many of the people profiled here will not be found in other recent collective business biographies. Only 10 people have entries in both this volume and in Aronoff and Ward's Contemporary Entrepreneurs [RBB O 1 92], which has 74 total entries. Contemporary Entrepreneurs has longer entries with bibliographies, but Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurs includes hundreds more and updates some of those 10. Ingham and Feldman's Contemporary American Business Leaders, a Biographical Dictionary [RBB My 15 90] has considerably longer entries with bibliographies but includes only 116 people.
Patrons are frequently looking for information such as this, and the Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurs includes a broad range, from Rebecca W. Pennock Lukens (born 1794) of Lukens Steel to more current founders, such as Lane Nemeth of Discovery Toys. One can always quibble with those chosen to be included and those omitted; it was a hard choice for the authors, and they say there may be further volumes. While especially useful as a circulating title where patrons are looking for inspiration to start their own businesses, the encyclopedia will also serve as a reference source wherever patrons are looking for information on such businesses and founders. The informality and bits of detail provide fascinating glimpses of these entrepreneurs and their company beginnings.