Courtesy of Library of Congress

Julius Rosenwald 1862-1932

Julius Rosenwald is best known as a part-owner and leader of Sears, Roebuck and Company and as creator of the Rosenwald Fund. Rosenwald was an entrepreneurial clothier who got his start in Chicago during the 1880s. After purchasing half of Sears, Roebuck, Rosenwald encouraged the wide diversification of product lines and watched annual sales skyrocket. In 1917, he established the Rosenwald Fund for "the well-being of mankind," which, all told, donated more than $70 million to schools, universities, museums, Jewish charities, and African-American charities before 1948, when its funds had been fully distributed. The Fund's school-building program built over five thousand schools, which became known as Rosenwald schools. Rosenwald was also the principal founder and backer for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.