PERSONNEL: Long Stretch

Little (5 ft. 3 in.) Frank A. Seiberling liked to be called the "Little Napoleon of Rubber." In 52 years in the business, F.A.'s career had as many patches and punctures as an old inner tube. He founded the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in 1898 with $3,500 borrowed cash, made it the world's biggest tiremaker. But in the 1921 slump he lost control of his company.

At 62 F.A. started over again ("A man never hits bottom") with the Seiberling Rubber Co. In six years he boosted it from 330th to seventh place in the industry. An unflagging innovator,...

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