Giving Compass’ Take:
• Julius Rosenwald helped make Sears one of Chicago’s leading companies but also helped build institutions and schools across the country. His efforts show how successful businessmen can also be successful philanthropists.
• How can other high net worth donors learn from Rosenwald’s impact on his community?
Rockefeller, Carnegie, Field, Shedd: these tycoons are well-remembered in part because of the philanthropic efforts emblazoned with their names. But Rosenwald? While no edifice or charity bears his name, Julius Rosenwald was one of the greatest – and, apparently, humblest – philanthropists of the age.
Rosenwald’s name isn’t even on the business, Sears, that he helped make extraordinarily successful. Born in Springfield, Illinois to German-Jewish immigrant shopkeepers in 1862, he moved to New York City at the age of 16 to work as a stock boy in his uncle’s clothing business. Six years later, he started his own clothing firm with his brother, but there was an economic recession and business was slow – until Rosenwald moved to Chicago. He opened another firm there in 1885, and began to prosper.
Read the full article about Julius Rosenwald’s impact on Chicago by Daniel Hautzinger at WTTW Chicago Public Media
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