1992 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Maya Angelou*


Born Marguerite Annie Johnson in 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, Maya Angelou was three when her parents separated. She and her younger brother went to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Her grandmother became a posi...

1992 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

John R. Block

Senior Policy Advisor


In 1935, John Block was born on a farm in Illinois that had no electricity. When he was old enough to go to school, he rode a pony to get to the schoolhouse, which lacked water and indoor plumbing and which had only 10 students...

1992 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Jack H. Brown*

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Stater Bros. Markets

Jack Brown was born in 1940 in San Bernardino County, California. He was an only child whose father, a chief deputy sheriff, died when Brown was eight. His mother, a sales clerk, made less than $15 a week. To earn a little extr...

1992 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Thomas L. Harken*


Harken & Associates, LLC

Tom Harken was born in 1937 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The grandson of a German immigrant, Harken grew up in Lakeview, Michigan. As a child, he contracted a debilitating illness. Recuperation was slow, and when he returned to...

1992 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

H. Wayne Huizenga*

Chairman & CEO

Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation

Wayne Huizenga, the son of a builder, was born in a Chicago suburb in 1937. As a teenager, he moved with his parents to Florida, where his father's building business failed. After his parents divorced, he lived with his mother....

1992 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Henry A. Kissinger


Kissinger Associates, Inc.

Born in 1923 in Fürth, Germany, a small city in Bavaria, Henry Kissinger was the son of a high school teacher. As the Nazi movement engulfed Germany in the 1930s, Kissinger's father was expelled from his teaching post. In 1938...

1992 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Richard L. Knowlton*

Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer

The Hormel Foods Corporation

Born in 1932 in Austin, Minnesota, Richard Knowlton was third in a family of seven children. His father was a lifelong employee of nearby Hormel Foods Company. Young Knowlton began working at the meatpacking plant at age 16. He...

1992 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

James W. Rouse*


The Enterprise Foundation

Jim Rouse was born in 1914 in Easton, Maryland. He grew up the youngest in a family of six children and lost both of his parents when he was 16. After his parents' death, he hitchhiked across the country and booked steerage on ...

1992 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

John R. Silber*


Boston University

Born in 1926, John Silber grew up in San Antonio, Texas. His father, an architect, was unemployed during most of the Great Depression. His mother returned to teaching to help with finances. When he was six, Silber contracted a ...

1992 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Clarence Thomas

Associate Justice

Supreme Court of the United States

Clarence Thomas was born in 1948 in Pin Point, Georgia. When he was two, his father abandoned the family, leaving his mother to care for two sons. When Thomas was seven, they moved into his grandfather's tenement building in Sa...

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