- Wall Street and Later Years
- Durant's Castle
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A French American born in Boston, Massachusetts, he was the grandson of Michigan governor Henry H. Crapo. William dropped out of high school to work in his grandfather's lumberyard, but by 1885 he had partnered with Josiah Dort to create the Coldwater Road Cart Company. He started out as a cigar salesman in Flint, Michigan, and eventually moved to selling carriages. He founded the Flint Road Cart Company in 1886, eventually transforming $2,000 in start-up capital into a $2 million business with sales around the world. By 1890 the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, based in Flint, Michigan, had become a leading manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles. When approached to become General Manager of Buick in 1904, he made a similar success and was soon president of this horseless-vehicle company. In 1908 he arranged the incorporation by proxies of General Motors and quickly thereafter sold stock, and with the proceeds acquired Oldsmobile. The acquisitions of Oakland, Cadillac, and parts companie...
In the 1920s, Durant became a major "player" on Wall Street and on Black Tuesday joined with members of the Rockefeller family and other financial giants to buy large quantities of stocks in order to demonstrate to the public their confidence in the stock market. His effort proved costly and failed to stop the market slide. After the fall of Durant Motors, Durant and his second wife lived on a small pension provided by Alfred P. Sloanon behalf of General Motors. He managed a bowling alley in Flint, Michigan until his death in 1947. He was interred in a private mausoleum at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, NY. Durant was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1996. Durant Park in Lansing, Michigan is named after him.
During the late 1920s Durant started construction on his own personal castle in northern Michigan, along the banks of the Au Sable River. Just before he moved in, however, the castle burned to the ground. This event was suspected to have been an act of arson, allegedly by the hands of the fledgling UAW, which Durant had refused to acknowledge as a union.
William Crapo Durant, (born Dec. 8, 1861, Boston—died March 18, 1947, New York City), American industrialist and founder of General Motors Corporation, which later became one of the largest corporations in the world in terms of sales.
Jan 29, 2020 · Images An illustration of a ... Durant, William Crapo, 1861-1947, General Motors Corporation -- History, Businesspeople -- United States -- Biography Publisher New ...
Durant, William Crapo, 1861-1947, General Motors Corporation -- History, Businesspeople -- United States -- Biography, General Motors Corporation, Businessmen Publisher Boston : Little, Brown
Sep 06, 1999 · William C. Durant did big things the big way: he overreached, but, until his final failure, he picked up the pieces time after time to confound his competitors. From a turbulent childhood in the small town of Flint, Michigan, to his phenomenal success in creating General Motors, Durant's meteoric career easily rivals the success stories of ...
- Axel Madsen
- Wiley, 1999
William Crapo "Billy" Durant (December 8, 1861 – March 18, 1947) was a leading pioneer of the United States automobile industry, the founder of General Motors and Chevrolet who created the system of multi-brand holding companies with different lines of cars.
The Dream Maker: William C. Durant, Founder of General Motors Weisberger, Bernard A. Little, Brown 1979 . Recounts the accomplishments and misfortunes of the daring and original entrepreneur who formed General Motors in the early 1900s, founded and lost Durant Motors after his final break with GM, and died nearly penniless in 1947.
Mar 14, 2002 · On The Deal Maker: How William C. Durant Made General Motors: "A well-written biography."-New York Times On Stanwyck: The Life and Times of Barbara Stanwyck: "Madsen's admirably researched, insightful portrait of her aloof nature . . . reveals she was always torn between her wish to give of herself and her need to be in control."-Christian Science Monitor On Chanel: A Woman of Her Own ...
Pelfrey's biography of the two founders of General Motors, Billy Durant and Alfred Sloan, evokes times when what was good for General Motors was good for America. Pelfrey, a journalist and author, makes the auto business in its early days sound like Silicon Valley: venture capital was plentiful and overnight fortunes flourished.
- William Pelfrey
The Deal Maker: How William C. Durant Made General Motors The Deal Maker - How Willam C. Durant made General Motors Author : Axel Madsen Publisher : John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1999 National Geographic Guide to America's Great Houses Author : Henry Wiencek, Donna M. Lucey, National Geographic Society