Business: The Hungry Meatpacker

Ever since he gave up studying to be a painter and went into the meat business, Samuel Slotkin, 68, has thought of his Hygrade Food Products Corp. as a work of art. "I am not grubbing for money," he says. "I am painting a picture as a life work. Every day I put in a brush stroke or two." Last week Slotkin added the boldest stroke of all to his canvas. Into Hygrade (1952 sales: $137 million) he merged Indianapolis' Kingan & Co. (sales: $214 million), thus became the fifth largest U.S. meatpacker.†

Since he founded Hygrade in 1914, with a stake...

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