Samuel Insull: All about power
The old saw â€śthose who ignore history are doomed to repeat itâ€? fits Enronâ€™s disgraced executives like well-worn gloves. Had they studied the history of utilities in America, they would have learned about Samuel Insull, the nation's first and most powerful utility mogul. Had they known his story, perhaps Enron would have taken a different path. And former Enron CEO Ken Laysâ€™s humiliation and demise bears an uncanny and unnerving similarity to Samuel Insullâ€™s final days. In 1879, Insull, a 20-year-old clerk at Vanity Fair's London office, was riding a tramcar when he happened across an article about Thomas Edison in the Times of London. There was also an ad for a part-time stenographer for Edison's agent in London. Insull applied and landed the job ultimately becoming private secretary to Edisonâ€™s chief agent in London.