Samuel M. Zemurray
Zemurray made his first fortune with the Honduras-based Cuyamel Fruit Company, and intended to retire when, in 1930, he sold the company to United Fruit in exchange for stock in the larger firm. A falling stock market, however, forced him out of retirement and he returned to United Fruit to help revive the ailing company. Dismissing poorly performing executives while pursuing lucrative contracts in Latin America, Zemurray soon returned United Fruit to profitability. Under Zemurray’s leadership, United Fruit became the world’s largest grower, shipper and seller of bananas, and amassed land holdings of over 260,000 acres.