He was a high school dropout, judged “not especially gifted” when measured against the academic standards of the day. He was poor, but even as a young man, he took it upon himself to support his widowed mother and two sisters, one of whom had polio.
He began his business career as a 14-year old office boy in an insurance company and followed that with work as a clerk in a local bank.
He was George Eastman, and his ability to overcome financial adversity, his gift for organization and management, and his lively and inventive mind made him a successful entrepreneur by his mid-twenties, and enabled him to direct his Eastman Kodak Company to the forefront of American industry.
But building a multinational corporation and emerging as one of the nation’s most important industrialists required dedication and sacrifice. It did not come easily.