James B. Duke
Five principal cigarette manufacturing companies merged to form American Tobacco in 1890 with Duke as head and with a capitalization of $25 million. In 1895, Duke began an aggressive campaign to absorb companies making other kinds of tobacco products. Duke organized the American Snuff Company in 1900 and the American Cigar Company in 1901. American Tobacco was reorganized in 1904, this time with a capitalization of $235 million. Expanding overseas, Duke orchestrated the partnership with Britain’s Imperial Tobacco Company.