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Beebe, Kenneth, 1947.jpg

Kenneth Beebe*

1947 Horatio Alger Award Winner


Horatio Alger Awards Committee

Kenneth Beebe was raised in Battle Creek, Michigan. He worked his way through the University of Illinois by selling “memory books” and graduated in 1913 with a degree in educational counseling. He then went to work for the ...

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Walter D. Behlen*

1968 Horatio Alger Award Winner


Behlen Manufacturing Company

Walter D. Behlen was the second of nine children born on a subsistence farm outside Columbus, Nebraska. He spoke only German until he was eight years old and hauled the town’s trash to earn money. Because of an illnes...

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Kenneth E. Behring

2006 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Chairman of the Board of Directors

Wheelchair Foundation

On the night of his birth in Freeport, Illinois, in 1928, Ken Behring’s mother was rushed to the hospital, but her child was born in an elevator en route to the delivery room. Behring likes to say that he was impatient for li...

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George Stuart Benson*

1981 Horatio Alger Award Winner

President Emeritus

Harding University

George Benson was born in 1898 to homesteader parents in the Oklahoma Territory, which was formerly inhabited by the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indians. He and his four siblings worked on the farm, doing their chores before walking three...

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Ragnar Benson*

1969 Horatio Alger Award Winner


Ragnar Benson, Inc.

Ragnar Benson was born in 1899 on a farm in southern Sweden. By the age of 12, he had immigrated to the United States. Determined to be successful, Benson chose a career in the hardest work he could find—bricklaying. ...

Bentia, John, 1957.png

John Bentia*

1957 Horatio Alger Award Winner


Alliance Manufacturing Company

John Bentia’s parents were immigrants from Romania who met in the United States. His father was a laborer at a foundry shop and his mother worked in a factory. Bentia got his first job at the age of five, selling news...

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Albert J. Berdis*

1959 Horatio Alger Award Winner


Great Lakes Steel Corporation

Albert J. Berdis was an orphan before he reached college age. He and his brother lived in a basement in Whiting, Indiana, while they attended Purdue University. During his first two years in college, Berdis lived on 20 cents a ...

Ronald M. Bergeron, Sr.

Ronald M. Bergeron, Sr.

2018 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Founder and CEO

Bergeron Land Development, Inc.

Ron Bergeron was born in 1943 in New Orleans, but he, along with his parents and older brother, moved to Florida not long after his birth. His mother’s family goes back eight generations in Florida. The Bergerons settled in D...

Loren M. Berry

Loren M. Berry*

1976 Horatio Alger Award Winner


L.M. Berry & Company

Loren M. Berry was born in Wabash Indiana in 1888. His father died when Berry was four years old. His mother sewed and worked as a maternity nurse, among other jobs, to support her family. At age eight, Berry prepared a...

Beyster, J. Robert, 2008.png

J. Robert Beyster*

2008 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Retired Chairman and CEO

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

J. Robert Beyster was born in Detroit in 1924 and grew up in Grosse Ile, Michigan. He and his parents lived in a rented duplex flat, with his grandparents living in the flat below. Although not a college graduate, Beyster’s f...

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