Corporations: The Chemistry of Growth

When he is not visiting his plants in Europe, Latin America or Africa—an activity that consumes half his time—J. Peter Grace is apt to spend his evenings studying chemistry in his Long Island home. "I'm not a chemist by any means," he explains, "but things change so fast in chemistry today that any man would have to study just as hard as I do to keep up." Grace's studies have paid off for the firm that he heads, W. R. Grace & Co.

Once solely a shipping and overseas-trading firm (founded by Grace's grandfather in 1854), Grace has become one of...

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