Armand Hammer : biography
Armand Hammer (May 21, 1898Armand Hammer, The Untold Story by Steve Weinberg, p. 16 – December 10, 1990) was an American business manager and owner, most closely associated with Occidental Petroleum, a company he ran for decades, though he was known as well for his art collection, his philanthropy, and for his close ties to the Soviet Union.
Hammer's business interests around the world and his "citizen diplomacy" helped him cultivate a wide network of friends and acquaintances.
He appeared frequently on television, commenting on international relations or agitating for research into a cure for cancer. As of 2008, he has been the subject of five biographies — in 1975 (Considine, authorized biography), 1985 (Bryson, coffee table book), Weinberg 1989, Blumay 1992, and Epstein 1996 — and two autobiographies (1932 and a best seller in 1987). His art collectionThe Armand Hammer Collection: Four Centuries of Masterpieces, published by the Armand Hammer Foundation in multiple editions (eventually becoming five centuries of masterpieces), sometimes in conjunction with museums where the collection was displayed.Honore Daumier 1808–1879: The Armand Hammer Daumier Collection Incorporating a Collection from George Longstreet, 1981 and his philanthropic projectsDreams & Promises: The Story of the Armand Hammer United World College : A Critical Analysis, Theodore Lockwood, 1997 were the subject of numerous publications as well.
Hammer died of bone marrow cancer in December 1990, aged 92 in Los Angeles, and was buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, across the street from his Occidental building on Wilshire Boulevard.
Arm & Hammer
Hammer owned a considerable amount of Church and Dwight stock in the 1980s and served on its board of directors. The company's brand name, Arm & Hammer, did not originate with Armand Hammer. The Arm & Hammer brand was in use some 31 years before Hammer was born.
Hammer was the middle child of three boys. He had close relationships, including business relationships, with his brothers, Harry and Victor Hammer, throughout their lives. He married three times, first in 1927, to a Russian actress, Olga Von Root, the daughter of a czarist general. In 1943, he was married to Angela Zevely. In 1956, he married the wealthy widow Frances Barrett, and they remained married until her death in 1989."Frances Hammer, A Painter, Was 87; Wife of Industrialist, Peter Flint, The New York Times, December 19, 1989 He had only one child, a son named Julian Armand Hammer, by his first wife. Hammer's grandson is businessman Michael Armand Hammer and his great-grandchildren include actor Armie Hammer.
After graduating from medical school, Hammer extended earlier entrepreneurial ventures with a successful business importing many goods from and exporting pharmaceuticals to the newly-formed Soviet Union, together with his younger brother Victor. According to Hammer, on his initial trip, he took $60,000 in medical supplies to aid in a typhus epidemic, and made a deal with Lenin for furs and caviars in exchange for a shipment of surplus American wheat. He moved to the USSR in the 1920s to oversee these operations, especially his large business manufacturing and exporting pens and pencils.
According to Alexander Barmine, who was assigned by the Central Committee to run the Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga company to compete with Hammer, the stationery concession was actually granted to Dr. Julius Hammer. According to Barmine the party spent five million gold rubles on stationery supplies made in factories controlled by Julius Hammer and other concessionaires making them rich. The Soviets were eventually able to duplicate certain items such as typewriter parts and pens and end those concessions but were never able to match the quality of Hammer's pencils so that concession became permanent according to Barmine.
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