John D. Hertz

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1270
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58
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1
About John D. Hertz John Daniel Hertz (April 10, 1879 - October 8, 1961) was an American businessman, thoroughbred racehorse owner, and philanthropist.Biography Born Sandor Herz in the village of Ruttka, Kingdom of Hungary, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today Slovakia, he emigrated to the United States when he was five. As a young man, Hertz was an amateur boxer, fighting under the name "Dan Donnelly." He won amateur championships at the Chicago Athletic Association and eventually began to box under his own name and became the manager for Benny Yanger. Business career Hertz's first job was selling newspapers, and eventually he became a reporter for the Chicago Morning News. When the paper, then called the Chicago Record merged with another paper, he lost his job. Although he couldn't drive, in 1904 he found a job selling cars at the suggestion of a friend. Because of the number of trade-ins, he came up with the idea of creating a cab company with low prices so the common man could afford to ride in them. In 1907, he had a fleet of seven used cars that he used as cabs. He founded the Yellow Cab Company in Chicago in 1915 as a way to provide transportation at a modest price. In the early 20th century, livery services were limited to the upper parts of society and Hertz thought there was huge potential for someone to provide lower cost services. His distinctive yellow cabs became popular and he quickly franchised the operation throughout the United States. In 1924, he expanded the notion of cheaper transportation by acquiring a rental car business, renaming it Hertz Drive-Ur-Self Corporation. Ultimately, both operations were sold to General Motors with Hertz being named to GM's board of directors. In 1903 he married Fannie Kesner of Chicago with whom he had three children: Leona Jane, John Jr., and Helen. John Jr. became an advertising executive and was briefly married between 1942 and 1944 to film star Myrna Loy. In 1933, Robert Lehman sold Hertz a minority interest in Lehman Brothers investment bank in New York City and he remained a member of the firm until his death. In 1938 Hertz was prepared to buy Eastern Air Lines from General Motors but the airline's General Manager, Eddie Rickenbacker, was able to raise the necessary financing to acquire Eastern before Hertz could exercise his option.

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1. John D. Hertz 1270

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