Entrepreneurs: Emperor in Private

Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson recalls that he was five years old when his father first told him that he was a genius.

Ahmanson today would scarcely win prizes for modesty, but his career in vests that paternal judgment with more truth than braggadocio. Starting with a 1925 stake of $20,000 in cash and securities, he has assembled a financial colossus of savings and loan associations, fire and title insurance, banking and investment companies. By conservative estimate, Ahmanson, 61, is worth more than $300 million.

No Place Like Home. Among U.S. thrift institutions there is...

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