In 1832, a few students at Yale founded one of America's most famous secret societies: Skull and Bones.
Every year, 15 students are selected to join this secret society for a lifetime membership. Many business tycoons and politicians are in the club, including George H. W. Bush, John Kerry, William Howard Taft, and Stephen Schwarzman.
Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, is also a member of this elite secret society. After graduation, Smith became one of the most successful Yale graduates ever. His network exceeds $4.7 billion, making him the second richest person in Tennessee and the 182nd in the country.
Who is Fred Smith?
Fred Smith is an American business magnate, investor, and founder of FedEx Corporation.
Fred Smith born was born on August 11, 1944, in Mississippi. His father, James Frederick, was a restauranteur. James Frederick died when Fred was 4; his mother and uncle raised him.
Smith senior had made enough money and left his four kids a trust fund with a condition to be released upon their 21 birthdays. This money became instrumental in starting FedEx a few years later.
He had a bone disease that left him unable to walk.
Fred Smith had a bone disease that kept him disabled for a few years, but he regained his health by ten and learned to fly airplanes at 15. In 1966, Smith received his bachelor's degree in economics from Yale University. As part of the coursework, Smith wrote a term paper outlining overnight delivery service on which he received a "C."
After earning his degree, Smith served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1966 to 1969.
Smith says, "When I graduated from Yale in 1966, I went into the service. The Vietnam War had begun in earnest, and I spent four and a half years in the Marine Corps. That's when I crystallized the idea for FedEx on the supply side, how to solve the problem that had been identified in that paper."
In the military, Smith observed a lot of waste and inefficiency, which inspired him to integrate air and ground systems to deliver supplies faster.
Smith used his inheritance money to start FedEx.
In 1971, Smith founded FedEx using his $4 million inheritance and raised $80 million to help him establish what became an efficient package delivery service. However, rising fuel prices ultimately caught up with the company, placing FedEx millions of dollars in debt.
Smith talks about these struggles saying, "I was committed to the people that had signed on with me, and if we were going to go down, we were going to go down with a fight. It wasn't going to be because I checked out ."
The fastest company to reach the $ 1 billion mark.
By the 1980s, Federal Express's growth rate was about 40 percent annually. In 1983, the company reported $1 billion in revenues, making American business history the first to reach that financial hallmark within ten years.
In 1984, the company expanded its services to Europe and Asia with an $880 million purchase of the Flying Tiger cargo line. Integrating the two companies was a very difficult task for Smith. In 2000, FedEx purchased TowerGroup International, a global leader in international logistics, and many other companies that helped FedEx become a dominant force in the shipping industry.
Smith purchased a stake in Washington Football Team.
In 2003, Smith and two friends purchased a Stake in Washington Football Team but sold their stake after disagreements with Dan Snyder.
He loved President Trump but disagreed with some of his policies.
In 2008, there was speculation that Fred Smith might land a role in John McCain's potential presidential cabinet or be his VP pick. Smith donated money to candidates on both sides but criticized President Trump's economic policies.
Smith said, "Getting rid of the NAFTA—a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country."
Smith has ten kids and lives with his wife in Memphis, Tennessee. According to Forbes magazine, Fred Smith has given less than 1% away.
If you had his money, what organizations would you support?
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