Kaiser, Henry J., 1882-1967

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1882-05-09
Death 1967-08-24
English

Biographical notes:

Biographical Chronology

  • 1882: Henry John Kaiser born in Sprout Brook (near Canajoharie), New York, on May 9, son of Francis J. and Mary Yops Kaiser, German immigrants.
  • 1895: Left school at age 13, to help support his parents and three sisters, by working in a dry goods store in Utica, New York.
  • ca. 1903 - 1906 : Became a salesman and partner in a photographic business in Lake Placid, New York; bought out his partner, and opened stores in Daytona Beach and Miami, Florida, and Nassau.
  • 1906: Moved to Spokane, Washington, and worked as a hardware and sand and gravel salesman.
  • 1907: Married Bessie Fosburgh on April 8 in Boston.
  • 1912: Began a road paving business in Washington and British Columbia. The Henry J. Kaiser Company, Ltd. established in Vancouver, B.C., in 1914.
  • 1921: Won his first California paving contract, between Redding and Red Bluff, and established headquarters in Oakland.
  • 1923: Started sand and gravel quarry at Radum (near Livermore), to supply the Livermore-Pleasanton paving job. This was the beginning of Kaiser Sand and Gravel Company.
  • 1927: Worked on a 200 -mile, 500 -bridge highway in Cuba.
  • 1929: Formed a consortium called Six Companies, Inc., with Henry J. Kaiser as chairman of the executive committee, to build Hoover (Boulder) Dam on the Colorado River. Also collaborated on the building of Bonneville, Grand Coulee, and Shasta Dams, natural gas pipelines in the Southwest, Mississippi River levees, and the San Francisco -Oakland Bay Bridge underwater foundations.
  • 1939: Built the Permanente Cement plant near Los Altos, California, in seven months, to provide cement and aggregates for the construction of Shasta Dam.
  • 1940 - 1945 : During World War II, coordinated production of liberty ships, "baby flat top" aircraft carriers, aircraft, cement, steel, magnesium for bombs and artillery shells, as well as laying the ground work for post war production of housing, cars and consumer goods.
  • 1942: Granted loan by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to build a steel plant at Fontana, California, the first in the western United States. Broke ground in April, and the first blast furnace was blown in on December 30, 1942.
  • 1944: Considered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as his fourth-term vice presidential running mate. Chairman of the Non-Partisan Association for Franchise Education, to promote voting.
  • 1945: Kaiser-Frazer Corporation incorporated in Nevada, and produced 750,000 automobiles in its ten years of production.
  • 1945 - 1946 : Served as national chairman of the Victory Clothing Collection, the Civilian Production Administration Emergency Food Collection, and the United States Relief Administration.
  • 1946: Began making aluminum at five rented plants, and showed a profit of $5.3 million in less than one year.
  • 1951: Bessie Fosburgh Kaiser died in Oakland. A month later, on April 10, Henry J. Kaiser married Alyce Chester in Santa Barbara.
  • 1955: Turned over day to day operation of Kaiser Industries Corporation to son Edgar F. Kaiser, and moved to Hawaii. There he developed the Hawaiian Village Hotel, and a $350 million real estate development and resort called Hawaii Kai.
  • 1958: Opened Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Honolulu.
  • 1961: Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. died in Oakland. Awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by University of California, Berkeley.
  • 1963: Received the International Broadcast Free Enterprise Award.
  • 1965: Given the AFL-CIO Murray Green Humanitarian Award, "in recognition of notable accomplishments in voluntary medical care, housing and labor-management relations."
  • 1967: Died on August 24 in Honolulu. By the time of his death at age 85, Henry J. Kaiser had founded more than 100 companies, which operated 180 major plants in 32 states and 40 foreign countries, employing 90,000 people and making 300 products and services, with assets of $2.5 billion.

From the guide to the Henry J. Kaiser Papers, 1873-1982, (The Bancroft Library.)

Biographical Chronology

  • 1882: Henry John Kaiser born in Sprout Brook (near Canajoharie), New York, on May 9, son of Francis J. and Mary Yops Kaiser, German immigrants.
  • 1895: Left school at age 13, to help support his parents and three sisters, by working in a dry goods store in Utica, New York
  • ca. 1903 - 1906 : Became a salesman and partner in a photographic business in Lake Placid, New York; bought out his partner, and opened stores in Daytona Beach and Miami, Florida, and Nassau.
  • 1906: Moved to Spokane, Washington, and worked as a hardware and sand and gravel salesman.
  • 1907: Married Bessie Fosburgh on April 8 in Boston.
  • 1912: Began a road paving business in Washington and British Columbia. The Henry J. Kaiser Company, Ltd. established in Vancouver, B.C., in 1914.
  • 1921: Won his first California paving contract, between Redding and Red Bluff, and established headquarters in Oakland.
  • 1923: Started sand and gravel quarry at Radum (near Livermore), to supply the Livermore-Pleasanton paving job. This was the beginning of Kaiser Sand and Gravel Company.
  • 1927: Worked on a 200 -mile, 500 -bridge highway in Cuba.
  • 1929: Formed a consortium called Six Companies, Inc., with Henry J. Kaiser as chairman of the executive committee, to build Hoover (Boulder) Dam on the Colorado River. Also collaborated on the building of Bonneville, Grand Coulee, and Shasta Dams, natural gas pipelines in the Southwest, Mississippi River levees, and the San Francisco -Oakland Bay Bridge underwater foundations.
  • 1939: Built the Permanente Cement plant near Los Altos, California, in seven months, to provide cement and aggregates for the construction of Shasta Dam.
  • 1940 - 1945 : During World War II, coordinated production of liberty ships, "baby flat top" aircraft carriers, aircraft, cement, steel, magnesium for bombs and artillery shells, as well as laying the ground work for post war production of housing, cars and consumer goods.
  • 1942: Granted loan by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to build a steel plant at Fontana, California, the first in the western United States. Broke ground in April, and the first blast furnace was blown in on December 30, 1942.
  • 1944: Considered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as his fourth-term vice presidential running mate.
  • 1944: Chairman of the Non-Partisan Association for Franchise Education, to promote voting.
  • 1945: Kaiser-Frazer Corporation incorporated in Nevada, and produced 750,000 automobiles in its ten years of production.
  • 1945 - 1946 : Served as national chairman of the Victory Clothing Collection, the Civilian Production Administration Emergency Food Collection, and the United States Relief Administration.
  • 1946: Began making aluminum at five rented plants, and showed a profit of $5.3 million in less than one year.
  • 1951: Bessie Fosburgh Kaiser died in Oakland. A month later, on April 10, Henry J. Kaiser married Alyce Chester in Santa Barbara.
  • 1955: Turned over day to day operation of Kaiser Industries Corporation to son Edgar F. Kaiser, and moved to Hawaii. There he developed the Hawaiian Village Hotel, and a $350 million real estate development and resort called Hawaii Kai.
  • 1958: Opened Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Honolulu.
  • 1961: Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. died in Oakland.
  • 1961: Awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by University of California, Berkeley.
  • 1963: Received the International Broadcast Free Enterprise Award.
  • 1965: Given the AFL-CIO Murray Green Humanitarian Award, "in recognition of notable accomplishments in voluntary medical care, housing and labor-management relations."
  • 1967: Died on August 24 in Honolulu. By the time of his death at age 85, Henry J. Kaiser had founded more than 100 companies, which operated 180 major plants in 32 states and 40 foreign countries, employing 90,000 people and making 300 products and services, with assets of $2.5 billion.

From the guide to the Selections From the Henry J. Kaiser Pictorial Collection, 1941-1946, (The Bancroft Library. University of California, Berkeley.)

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Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6rj4v58
Ark ID:
w6rj4v58
SNAC ID:
56907318

Subjects:

  • Shipbuilding--Photographs
  • Shipyards--Photographs
  • Dams--Design and construction--Photographs
  • Industrialists
  • Corporations--Photographs
  • Construction industry--Photographs
  • Industry

Occupations:

  • Collector

Places:

  • Hawaii (as recorded)
  • New York (State) (as recorded)
  • California--Oakland (as recorded)
  • West (U.S.) (as recorded)
  • California--San Francisco Bay Area (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Hawaii (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • California--Richmond (as recorded)