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2009 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

James S.C. Chao

Honorary Chairman

Foremost Group

James S. C. Chao was born in a small, rural farming village in China's Jiading District to Yi-Ren Chao and his wife, Yu-Chin Hsu Chao. His parents were subsistence farmers, and his father was principal of the village elementary...

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2006 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Doris K. Christopher

Founder and Chairman

Pampered Chef, Ltd.

Doris Kelley Christopher was born in 1945 in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Her father was an auto mechanic who worked all his life at a small gas station. Her mother worked in a factory during World War II and then found a position as a ...

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2000 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Arthur A. Ciocca*

Chairman, CEO & Owner

The Wine Group, Inc.

Arthur Ciocca was born in the late 1930s in Tarrytown, New York, a city then inhabited mostly by immigrants or first-generation Italian families. Ciocca's father, the town's general doctor, often accepted barter payment in lieu...

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1979 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Catherine Taft Clark*


Brownberry Ovens, Inc.

Catherine Taft Clark was born in 1907 in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Her father died when she was eight. Her mother cleaned houses and took in laundry to support the family. When she was old enough, Clark assisted her mother and wor...

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2012 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

James H. Clark

Chairman & Co-Founder

Beyond Identity


Silicon Graphics, Inc.


Netscape Communications Corporation

Jim Clark was born in 1944 in Fort Worth, Texas. When he was two, his parents moved the family to Plainview to be closer to both sets of grandparents, with whom he spent much of his preschool years. His mother's father was a tr...

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2008 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Joseph Clark*


Aviation Partners Boeing

Chairman & CEO

Aviation Partners Inc.

Joseph Clark was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 1941. Soon after, his family moved to a small home in Seattle, Washington. Clark's mother was deaf and could hear only with the aid of sophisticated hearing instruments, and...

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1997 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

Mary Higgins Clark*


Born in the Bronx in 1929, Mary Higgins Clark was the daughter of an Irish-American pub owner. Her father died when she was 10, forcing her family to move to a small apartment above a tailor's shop. Clark won a scholarship to a...

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1991 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

James L. Clayton, Sr.

East Tennessee Chairman

First Bank

Jim Clayton was born in 1934 in a tin-roofed house on a sharecropper's farm. By the time he was five, Clayton was dragging cotton rows using a log pulled by a farm mule. When he was 12, he had his own cotton patch. He walked fo...

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1980 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

W.W. Clements*

Chairman of the Board & CEO

Dr Pepper Company

The youngest of nine children, Foots Clements was born in 1914 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, where his parents were farmers. His father also held jobs as a justice of the peace, constable, and U.S. Marshal. Clements began work...

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1982 Horatio Alger Award Recipient

William P. Clements, Jr.*


State of Texas

William Clements, a fifth-generation Texan, was born in Dallas in 1917. He got his start in the oil fields, beginning as a roughneck and driller at age 20. He attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) for two and a half year...

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