Henry John Heinz

Henry John Heinz

Birth
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 14 May 1919 (aged 74)
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 467 · View Source
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Business Magnate. The son of German immigrants, he was the founder of the H.J. Heinz Company that grew into one of the largest food processers in the United States. As a youth, his father ran a brickyard and part of that property was used by his mother as a garden. By the age of 14 he was working his own section of his mother's garden and selling vegetables. He attended Duff's Mercantile College (now Everest Institute) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and thoroughly familiarized himself with sound business practices and soon began selling prepared horseradish. In 1869 he started his business and went into partnership with L. Clarence Noble and formed Heinz & Noble. Their first product was horseradish, sold in clear bottles to prove that, unlike some foods, it was totally unadulterated. In 1875 a financial panic caused the company to go bankrupt and after reorganizing, he paid off his debts and the following year he joined his brother John and cousin Frederick and launched the F. & J. Heinz Company. In 1888 he bought out his partners and reorganized the company into its present name and began construction of a factory on the Allegheny River. In 1896 he introduced its famous slogan, "57 varieties." In 1905 H.J. Heinz was incorporated and he served as its first president until his death. His benevolent management style made H.J. Heinz a pioneer in labor relations, as workers were well treated and afforded comforts and conveniences unlike other leading manufacturing companies, as well as ensuring safe and sanitary food preparation. He provided his employees with free medical care, recreation facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, gardens, and educational opportunities such as libraries, free concerts, and lectures. In 1906 he helped to gain passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in Congress. He died of pneumonia at his home at the age of 74. At the time of his death, the H.J. Heinz Company had over 20 food processing plants, and also included seed farms and container factories, with thousands of employees and processing the harvest from over 100,000 acres. In October 1924 a bronze statue in his honor was dedicated at the H.J. Heinz Company building in Pittsburgh. He was the great-grandfather of Pennsylvania Congressman and US Senator Henry John Heinz III. Heinz Field, the home of the National Football League Pittsburgh Steelers, is named in his honor.

Bio by: William Bjornstad



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 467
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry John Heinz (11 Oct 1844–14 May 1919), Find A Grave Memorial no. 467, citing Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .