Member Profile

1972 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Lee Smith Bickmore*


Nabisco, Inc.

“I started as a shipping clerk and became CEO of a major corporation-that could only happen in America.”

Lee Smith Bickmore, one of nine children, was born in Paradise, Utah, in 1908. He worked on the family farm throughout his early life. At age 17, he left home and worked in a retail store to support his studies at Utah State College at Logan.

After graduation, Bickmore worked several more years in retail before joining National Biscuit Company, a forerunner of Nabisco, as a salesman in Pocatello, Idaho. After only two months, he was laid off in a staff reduction. For nine months, he sold shoes and unloaded freight cars, and he reminded National Biscuit that he was still interested. The company rehired him as a shipping clerk for $15 a week.

Ultimately, Bickmore became CEO of Nabisco Brands, which became a billion-dollar food processing firm.