Family tree of S. S. KRESGE

Industrialist, Businessman

AmericanBorn Sebastian Spering KRESGE

Founder of the S. S. Kresge Company, now Kmart

Born on July 31, 1867 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA , United States

Died on October 18, 1966 in Monroe Co., Pennsylvania, USA

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Kresge was born in Bald Mountain (near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), the son of Sebastian Kresge and Catherine Kunkle.

Living on the family farm until he was 21 years old, he was educated in the local public schools, at the Fairview Academy, in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, and at the Eastman Business College, from which he graduated in March, 1889.


Following his graduation, he clerked in a hardware store for two years, then worked as a traveling salesman from 1892 to 1897.

On March 20, 1897, Kresge started with James G. McCrory (founder of J.G. McCrory's) at a five and ten cent store in Memphis, Tennessee. He continued in this for two years, then in 1899 founded his company with Charles J. Wilson with an $8,000 investment in two five-and-ten-cent stores, one in downtown Detroit, Michigan (for which he traded ownership in McCrory's).

In 1912, he incorporated the S.S. Kresge Corporation with 85 stores. The company was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange on May 23, 1918. During World War I, Kresge experimented with raising the limit on prices in his stores to $1.

By 1924, Kresge was worth approximately $375,000,000 (in 1924 dollars; around $5,000,000,000 in 2009 dollars) and owned real estate of the approximate value of $100,000,000 (see Farid-Es-Sultaneh v. Commissioner, 160 F.2d 812 (2d Cir. 1947)). He was married and divorced at least twice by 1928. (see Farid-Es-Sultaneh, ibid).

Kresge died on October 18, 1966, nine months shy of his 100th birthday.

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Geographical origins

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