Lecture delivered at the Hagley Museum and Library on November 7th 2013. In "John J. Raskob: Pierre S. du Pont's Right-Hand Man and Capitalist Extraordinaire," Farber traced Raskob’s rags to riches tale from selling candy on a railway between Lockport and Buffalo to the boardrooms of America’s biggest corporations like DuPont and General Motors.
In his talk, Farber discussed Raskob’s role in Pierre S. du Pont’s purchase and renovation of his great-grandfather’s explosives business as well as his role transforming General Motors. He also will highlighted Raskob’s most famous innovation, mass consumer credit. Raskob created General Motors Acceptance Corporation, a company that offered financing to consumers, and enabled working and middle-class Americans to purchase cars.
Farber’s talk is based on his newest book, Everybody Ought To Be Rich: The Life and Times of John J. Raskob, Capitalist. Farber spent eight years writing the biography and relied heavily on sources for his book from Hagley Museum and Library’s John J. Raskob collection including personal letters, business documents, and receipts.
David Farber is Professor of History at Temple University. He is the author of The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism; Taken Hostage: The Iran Hostage Crisis and America's First Encounter with Radical Islam; and Sloan Rules: Alfred P. Sloan and the Triumph of General Motors.