Religion: Charity at Home

The flourishing enterprise began in the busy mind of Benjamin Kram, onetime numbers racketeer (in Pittsburgh) and taxi driver (in Miami) who decided that there must be better ways of going beyond his $17-a-month Government check for partial (10%) service disability. With his brothers Henry and Max he founded the Ex-G.I. Plastics Co., and soon they were going beyond at the startlingly successful rate of about $18,000 gross a week. Gimmick: the Krams crammed cheap plastic crucifixes into envelopes with letters asking $1 aid for a partially disabled vet, mailed them by the hundreds of thousands to Catholic-sounding names culled from...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!