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1997 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

E. Margaret Screaton Beebe*

Honorary Member

Born in 1908, Margaret Beebe was the wife of the Horatio Alger Association's founder, Kenneth Beebe. She was an avid supporter of his early efforts to recognize Americans who were self-made successes. Following her ...

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1947 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Kenneth J. Beebe*


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 Amer...

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1968 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Walter D. Behlen*


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 illness,...

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2006 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Kenneth E. Behring*

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 liked to say that he was impatient for life...

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1981 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

George Stuart Benson*

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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1969 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Ragnar Benson*


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. W...

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1957 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

John Bentia*


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 newspa...

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1959 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Albert J. Berdis*


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.

2018 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Ronald M. Bergeron, Sr.

Founder and CEO

Bergeron Land Development, Inc.

Bergeron Family of Companies

Bergeron Properties & Investment Corp.

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 Dav...

Loren M. Berry

1976 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Loren M. Berry*


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...

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