Floyd B. Odlum: America’s financial Atlas
The other day, The Associated Press reported the launch of an Atlas 5 rocket into space. Atlas, America's most reliable rocket was not named after muscle man Charles Atlas, but in honor of Atlas Corp., a company owned by one of America's lesser-known yet incomparable 20th-century titans, Floyd B. Odlum. His imprint is on the rocket because he personally funded its development when the Air Force ran out of money. Odlum was a financial genius who owned so many well-known companies that it might be easier to list what he did not own. Yet strangely, not a single biography exists about the man who hobnobbed with kings, queens, presidents and dictators. He and his wife convinced Dwight Eisenhower to seek the presidency, and the grateful president returned the favor by painting Odlum's portrait!