Julius Rosenwald: The towering presence behind Sears
The 110-story Sears Tower in Chicago would have been a fitting tribute to Julius Rosenwald, the man who turned Sears, Roebuck & Co. from a small, poorly managed mail-order house into the world's largest retailer. Although Rosenwald was worth more than $160 million in 1916, he did not take it for granted. "Fortune smiled on me in a big way," he said, "and no one was more surprised than I was myself." Rosenwald was born in 1862 down the street from Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield, Ill., a year after Lincoln had left for the White House. Rosenwald attended school but was more interested in earning money. He worked in his father's clothing store after school, carried luggage for travelers, sold newspapers and even earned 25 cents on Sundays pumping the organ at the First Presbyterian Church.