RACES: One Man's Peace Corps

The year was 1964 when Edward ("Ned") Coll, an idealistic 24, left his promising job as a junior executive with a Hartford, Conn., insurance firm to found a social-action agency. Professionals and family were not amused. "It will take $80,000 to get started, and don't count on volunteers," gruffed the local antipoverty chief. When he started going around to newspapers to sell his cause, his father, a retired postal clerk, would call ahead and warn the editor that Ned was not to be taken seriously.

Armed with $1,100 in savings and a vision...

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