75th Anniversary - (Page 1)

C H A P T E R O N E PLANTING THE SEEDS A time of great prosperity in America, the years following World War I were epitomized by intense optimism, easy credit and wild stock market speculation. Known as the Jazz Age, an unprecedented financial boom was fueling the explosive growth of the U.S. economy. “Sometimes people call me an idealist,” said U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. “Well, that is the way I know I am an American.” After graduating in 1928 from Columbia University’s College of Pharmacy, 20-year old Henry Schein shared that powerful sense of optimism and dreamed of opening his own drugstore and earning the $30 a week he would need to live decently. But on Black Thursday, that fateful day in October 1929, the bottom dropped out of the U.S. stock market. The Great Depression settled in, grim and intractable. “Hoovervilles,” shantytowns named after the President who kept insisting that prosperity was “just around the corner,” sprang up in every major American city. One of the largest was on the great lawn of Central Park in New York City. By 1932, unemployment in the U.S. had skyrocketed to 24%; an estimated 30 million people lost their jobs around the globe. During the worst economic crisis of modern times, businesses were failing at a breakneck pace, but Henry Schein remained determined to fulfill his dream in the face of great uncertainty. In 1932 he borrowed $500 and opened a modest corner drugstore at the corner of 65th and Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, Queens—a short walk from his apartment. His partner ran a soda fountain in the front of the store, and Henry filled prescriptions for local doctors at a counter in the back. In 1936 he married Esther Baliba, and his new bride joined him as bookkeeper for the business. Theirs was in many ways the American immigrant story. Henry’s parents, Max and Hanna Schein, had emigrated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1890 during the greatest mass migration in human history. During the century spanning Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo and the beginning of World War I in 1914, more than 30 million Europeans sought a new life in the United States. Most were peasants from Eastern and Southern Europe, and millions made their new homes and eked out a living in such sprawling urban neighborhoods as Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Born on Delancey Street in 1908, Facing page. Beginning the vision. A youthful entrepreneur and pharmacist, Henry Schein rests in front of his first drug store in Woodside, New York. Left. Founders of Henry Schein, Inc. Portrait of Esther and Henry Schein. 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 75th Anniversary

75th Anniversary
Table of Contents
Preface by Stanley Bergman
Chapter One: Planting the Seeds
Chapter Two: Jay—A Visionary Ahead of His Time
Chapter Three: The Turnaround Plan
Chapter Four: Building Castles in the Sky
Acknowledgement

75th Anniversary

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