Henry John Heinz – Short Biography
HARD WORK. This phrase comes to mind when reading about Henry J. Heinz, whose products can be found on kitchen tables around the world makes him one of the greatest entrepreneurs in American history.
Henry J. Heinz – Working Since Nine!
Heinz was one of eight children born to German immigrants Heinrich Heinz and Anna Margareta Schmitt.
He was born in Birmingham, Pennsylvania, but the family would later move to Sharpsburg (on the outskirts of Pittsburgh).
Heinz started in business very young. At just six years old, he was already helping his mother look after a backyard garden from which they sold vegetables to neighbors. At age eight, young Heinz began selling produce door-to-door.
By the time Heinz reached 17, he was already earning $2,400 annually, a staggering amount at the time.
Laying the Foundation for Heinz
In 1869, Heinz founded his first company – the Heinz Noble & Company with L.C. Noble – to sell horseradish. The company was unsuccessful and ended in bankruptcy in 1875.
Never the one to give up, Heinz established F & J Heinz with family members and started selling products, one of which was tomato ketchup. In 1888, Heinz bought out his partners and re-organized the firm to the H. J. Heinz Company, which is still the name of the firm today.
As a leader, Heinz was known to be fair in his treatment of employees and was a great supporter of safe and sanitary food practices. In fact, in 1906, he lobbied in favor of the Pure Food and Drug Act. He was also known to be very involved in church activities and did many philanthropic works during his lifetime.
The Henry J. Heinz Quick Bio
Full name: Henry John Heinz
Birthdate: October 11, 1844 (died May 14, 1919)
Key success traits: Hardworking, Strategist, Never a quitter
Company: H. J Heinz Company
Heinz’ well-known tagline “57 varieties” applied in 1896, bears no actual meaning. Heinz just happened to like a shoe store he saw while in New York City called “21 styles” and wanted to adopt the idea. In reality, Heinz was already selling more than 57 types of products at the time the slogan was introduced.