Around the Century's turn, young Pierre Samuel du Pont tired of his slow progress in the family business, set himself up as part owner of a streetcar company in Lorain, Ohio. There he hired, for $1,000 per year, a 21-year-old stenographer named John Jacob Raskob. Employer du Pont was vastly impressed by his young secretary's shrewdness. When he came into his heritage and went back to Wilmington as treasurer of E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., he took John Raskob along as his $3,000-per-year assistant. And when William Crapo Durant...

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