Bowles, John, 1963.png

1963 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

John Bowles*


Rexall Drug Company

John Bowles was born in Monroe, North Carolina, in 1916. In his youth, he delivered newspapers, worked weekends in a drugstore, mowed lawns, and did other odd jobs. By the time he was 16 years old, he had saved enough money to ...

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1990 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Ernest L. Boyer*

Born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1928, Ernest L. Boyer was seven when he started helping his father with door-to-door sales during the Great Depression. He also assisted with a typewriter business, another of his father's sidelines. ...

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1954 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Donald R. Brann*

Directions Simplified, Inc.

Division of Easi-Bild Pattern Co., Inc.

After failing twice at starting his own business, Donald Brann tried a third time and succeeded. He realized that full-size patterns could be used on all types of surfaces and with that idea began his own company, Easi-Bild Pat...

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1966 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Walter Brennan*


Born in 1894 in Lynn, Massachusetts, Walter Brennan was the son of Irish immigrants. He studied engineering in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and became interested in acting in school plays. During his summer breaks, he worked as a ...

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1974 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Andrew F. Brimmer*

Board of Governors

Federal Reserve System

The son of a sharecropper, Andrew Brimmer was born in Newellton, Louisiana, in 1926. He grew up in the 1930s in that small, poor, and racially segregated Mississippi River farm town. To earn extra money, his mother raised chick...

Norman Brinker

1985 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Norman Brinker*

Chairman and CEO

Chili's Inc.

Born in 1931, Norman Brinker was raised on a small farm in Roswell, New Mexico. He spent his days milking cows, feeding chickens, picking cotton, raising rabbits, and riding horses. "I wanted to be a rancher," he said. "All tha...

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2008 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Gary P. Brinson

Founder and Chairman

The Brinson Foundation

Gary Brinson was born in 1943 in Seattle. His father was a bus driver, and his mother worked as a clerk at Sears. After graduating from Renton High School, Brinson enrolled at Seattle University, where he earned a bachelor's de...

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1979 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Shepard Broad*

Chairman of the Board

American Savings & Loan Association

Born in 1906 in Pinsk, Russia, into an Orthodox Jewish family, Shmuel Bobrowicz lost his mother at age three and became an orphan at 10, when his father died in World War I. He and his younger brother survived the German occupa...

Brock, Louis C, 2002.png

2002 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Louis C. Brock*


Brockworld Products, Inc.

Lou Brock, the seventh of nine children, was born in 1939 in El Dorado, Arkansas, to sharecropper parents. When he was two, his parents separated, and his mother moved with the children to Collinston, Louisiana, where the famil...

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2007 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Thomas J. Brokaw

Former Anchor and Managing Editor/Special Correspondent

NBC Nightly News/NBC News

Tom Brokaw was born in Webster, South Dakota, in 1940 and was raised in the small towns and rural culture of the Great Plains. His father, the youngest of 10 children, left school in the third grade to work in construction, a t...

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