INVESTMENT: Rock Bros., Inc.

When Aircraft Designer J. S. McDonnell Jr. met young Laurance Rockefeller back in 1939, McDonnell had "nothing but his briefcase." Laurance, the third son of John D. Jr., had money. He also had a taste for "helicopters and such things," and he liked the blueprints showed him by McDonnell, a crack designer who had once worked for Glenn L. Martin. When they parted, McDonnell had $40,000 of good Rockefeller cash and Rockefeller had 4,000 shares of highly speculative preferred stock. The deal helped McDonnell to build his second-floor engineering office into St....

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