The successor to J. Ogden Armour as President of Armour and Company, White oversaw the production of over one billion dollars worth of food and by-products.
1873-1931 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)
Impact & Accomplishments
Frank Edson White succeeded J. Ogden Armour as President of Armour and Company in 1923.
White was born in Peoria, Illinois, and attended business college. His father was a stock breeder and commission man, and White began his career in the meat packing industry employed as a traveling salesman for E. Gobel and Sons.
At age twenty, he became manager of the dressed beef department at Western Meat Company of San Francisco. White left this position to work in the car route department of Armour and Company in Chicago. He rapidly progressed through various departments, encouraged by P. D. Armour, Jr.: dressed beef, sheep, and the wool house.
By the 1910s, F. Edson White was a director and then vice president. During World War I, all meat sales to the government and European allies were under White’s direction, and after the armistice, he was in charge of all overseas business for Armour and Company.
With White as president, Armour and Company grew to 60,000 employees, 500 branch houses, and 20 packing plants. Over 15 million animals were utilized to produce over one billion dollars worth of food and by-products. At age fifty-seven, F. Edson White died in an accidental fall from his apartment window in 1931.
Did You Know?
Reviewing his rise from the estate of a butcher’s helper to the presidency of Armour and Company, worldfamous meat packers, F. Edson White in The New York Times attributes his success to “little things done well,” a slightly new way of putting a very old receipt for self-development. “I can account for the beginning of my climb up the ladder only to the fact that I did what seemed to me the wisest immediate thing to do,” he relates, “and I did it with all my enthusiasm, energy and ability.”
“You have got to have the intent,” he told the biographer who took down his statements. “If I had not had courage and confidence in my daily work these last twenty-seven years I could not face to-day taking up the management of this billion-dollar business.” - Maclean's April 15, 1923
From The Livestock Producer and Armour - 1920