The Top Entrepreneurs of the Last 100 Years

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie Built an empire around the production of steel, implementing techniques such as the Bessemer process that allowed for increased efficiency and lower production costs ultimately allowing him to beat out the competition and for America to surpass Great Britain in the output of steel.

Oprah Winfery

“The Oprah Winfery Show” was the catalyst that turned her into national icon. From this she built an empire in which she was both the business brains and the face of it. Her endeavours have taken her into many different markets and have yielded unprecedented success. She has capitalized on her charisma and confidence of the public to become one of the most powerful people in the media.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison One of America’s greatest inventors, Thomas Edison’s business success can be attributed to one core concept: Innovations alone cannot generate profit; they must be realized into actual, consumer-valued products.

Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder One of the largest and most successful manufacturers of cosmetics, Estee Lauder’s core business philosophy centered on the production of quality products that would surpass the expectations of the customer. She advertised her products by distributing free samples, of carefully coached her sales staff on the importance customer attention.

Ray Kroc

Ray Kroc Founder of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc is the poster boy for the American business success story. He espoused long-term growth, not short-term profits which ultimately allowed him to build the largest chain of fast food restaurant in the world.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates Co-Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates is no stranger to top entrepreneur lists. His success can be attributed to his pure domination of the software industry.
His strategy has been centered on keeping competitors at bay, while continually expanding the market.

Conrad Hilton Sr.

Conrad Hilton Sr. founding the first coast to coast hotel chain in 1943 and then the first international hotel brand in 1949, Hilton manifests the essential entrepreneurial quality of perseverance and building from the ground up.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs knows exactly how to design computers and tech gadgets alike: sleek and simple to use. Jobs revolutionized the computer world by building and marketing his products to a customer who desired ease of use as much as substance.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford transformed the auto manufacturing process. His assembly lines pumped out inexpensive cars for middle class America. His success lay in turning a luxury product into one available to a mass market by revolutionizing manufacturing techniques.

John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller as king of oil industry, Rockfeller capitalized on the microeconomic concepts of economies of scale and vertical integration of increase efficiency and buy out his competitors.

Michael Dell

Michael Dell, CEO and founder of Dell computers revolutionized the PC world by building computers and selling them directly to the customer. This technique allowed for reduced production costs and ultimately lower costs of the customer.

Sam Walton

Sam Walton founder of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, Sam Walton saw and capitalized on the market for discounted stores. He bought direct from manufacturers and used economies of scale to deliver the lowest possible prices.

Richard Branson

Branson’s first project, a mail-order record shop, has come a long way since 1970.
Now running Virgin Group, the conglomerate of 200 companies in 30 different countries, Branson is on the verge of sending ordinary people into space on virgin Galactics. His success lay in his aggressive approach of pushing his companies into new industries.

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos founder of; Bezos understood that the internet was a marketplace.
He capitalized of the lower production costs made possible by running a business online and was able to sell goods on his web site so far less than retail stores could.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney the creator of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney built the famous Disney Empire. His immense success was not without setbacks including failed films and other studios copying his style. However, Disney always bounced back and continually took risks – character traits essential to all successful entrepreneurs.

Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar was the founder of the e-commerce site eBay; Omidyar revolutionized the internet by creating a site where people, artisans and small businesses could sell their products to consumers all over the world.

Ralph Lauren

Lauren’s vision for market in men’s fashion began with stylish ties. By selling a lifestyle, Lauren’s Polo brand pioneered men’s fashion and soon expanded to women’s fashion fragrances and house wares.

William S. Harley

Arthur Davidson

The founders of the famous Harley-Davidson motorcycles, these two friends pioneered the idea of putting an engine on a bicycle. There were set backs and emulating competitors but due to hard work and innovation Harley-Davidson survived two world wars and the Great Despression.

Phil Knight

Phil Knight the founder of Nike, Phil Knight knows how to market his company. Capitalizing on innovating advertising campaigns along with endorsements from famous athletes Knight has truly branded his company and it has worked.

Milton Hershey

Hershey’s success lay in his core idea:
To let the masses enjoy something that had been previously only enjoyed by the wealth. Capitalizing on innovative machinery, he was able to deliver his products at a lower cost.

Mark Zuckerberg

Maybe we can say Mark Zuckerberg the founder of is the most recent person on this list. His innovation has brought many people and friends together. His Website has the rank number 2 between all websites on the internet world and that all after six years of work.


One Response so far.

  1. stacie28 says:

    great top of famous entrepreneurs! The successful entrepreneur, Yuri Mintskovsky should also be included in this list. He is one of the youngest Assistant Vice Presidents in Nations Bank, where he successfully manages multi-million dollar IT projects. I really admire him!

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