THE U.S. BUSINESS HALL OF FAME
By Arthur M. Louis REPORTER ASSOCIATE Rosalind Klein Berlin

(FORTUNE Magazine) – HAS ANYONE achieved supreme success in business without mastering the art of selling? Probably not. Harvey Firestone, who created one of the world's great rubber companies, and Donald Kendall, who built PepsiCo, started in the trenches as salesmen. Jack Massey, the venture capitalist who made a household name of Kentucky Fried Chicken, built his grubstake by selling surgical supplies. The amiable Trammell Crow, the nation's biggest real estate developer, continually hawked his personality and his projects to wary prospective partners and lenders. The late George Halas, father of professional football and owner of the Chicago Bears, sold tickets during his team's early days. Igor Sikorsky, the aircraft pioneer, persuaded his bosses against the overwhelming weight of engineering opinion that he could design a working single-rotor helicopter. All these superb practitioners of the high art of salesmanship have been elected to the U.S. Business Hall of Fame this year. Started in 1975, the Hall of Fame is sponsored by Junior Achievement, a nonprofit organization based in Connecticut that seeks to inform young people about the functions and attractions of private enterprise. Each year, at Junior Achievement's request, FORTUNE's Board of Editors chooses new laureates from two broad categories: those who are alive but have left the jobs in which they made their mark and those who have died. This year's laureates were to be inducted March 26 at a banquet in Indianapolis.

DONALD M. KENDALL (b. 1921)

THIS BURLY, plain-spoken college dropout masterminded one of the most astounding corporate transformations of the century. Before Donald McIntosh Kendall took charge of Pepsi-Cola in 1963, the company was sadly mismanaged and trailed so far behind archrival Coca-Cola that the folks in Atlanta didn't even acknowledge the rivalry. Now PepsiCo's revenues are greater than Coke's -- $9.3 billion vs. $8.7 billion last year. While this reflects substantial acquisitions by PepsiCo (the name was changed in 1965, after a merger with Frito-Lay), the company can claim to be Coke's peer by most measures and very likely its superior in marketing acumen. Its flagship brand outsells Coca-Cola's in food stores, though not at fountains and restaurants, and PepsiCo's soft drinks together boast 31% of the domestic market vs. 40% for Coke's brands. Through Frito-Lay, PepsiCo is the leader in salted snack foods, and its Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Kentucky Fried Chicken chains place it second in revenues to McDonald's in the restaurant business. Kendall grew up on a dairy farm in Sequim, Washington. A star tackle in high school, he entered Western Kentucky State College on a football scholarship and made it through three semesters before joining the Navy in 1942. As a bomber pilot he won two Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Air Medals in the landings at Manila Bay, Mindoro, and Leyte. After the war he got a job on Long Island selling fountain syrup for Pepsi and promptly established himself as a star in a company that lacked even asteroids. To be a great salesman, he says, ''you have to know and have confidence in your product, and you have to know the person you're selling to and what he wants and what his problems are. And then, once you get in the door, you have to work at keeping that relationship, do the follow-up work. I think that's where a lot of people lose out.'' Kendall suggests that his greatest edge was simply a willingness to work longer hours than his colleagues. As he once put it: ''I always wanted to be No. 1.'' By age 31 he had become a corporate vice president, and at 36 he was placed in charge of Pepsi-Cola International, responsible for all sales outside the U.S. and Canada. In a little over six years he doubled the number of countries in which Pepsi did business, nearly doubled the number of franchised bottling plants abroad, tripled overseas revenues, and quintupled profits. He became friendly with a lot of minor government officials who went on to become trade ministers and even prime ministers, and these personal contacts greatly enhanced Pepsi's position abroad. One of his coups was opening a soft-drink factory in the Soviet Union in 1974, making PepsiCo the first American company to produce a consumer product in that country. The groundwork had been laid in 1959, when Kendall met Premier Nikita Khrushchev and other officials at an exhibition in Moscow. He became chief executive of Pepsi at the tender age of 42 and proceeded to give the company some much-needed marketing oomph. Kendall also made fence- mending visits to Pepsi's bottlers, who had been rebelling against price rises and had taken their case directly to the board of directors, claiming that the company under Kendall's predecessor lacked leadership. Perhaps Kendall's most daunting challenge and greatest achievement was to build an extraordinarily effective management team. ''He could always see through phonies while identifying strengths in people before others did,'' says John Sculley, chairman of Apple Computer, formerly a high-ranking PepsiCo executive, and Kendall's son-in-law. Nowadays, as Kendall points out with a mixture of glee and dismay, even Coca-Cola raids his company for executives.

TRAMMELL CROW (b. 1914)

A LATECOMER to real estate, Fred Trammell Crow became one of the most innovative developers in history and the largest nongovernment developer of all, consistently putting up well over $1 billion a year of trade and shopping centers, office and industrial buildings, warehouses, hotels, and housing. ''We're the first truly national real estate developing company,'' Crow crows. ''We're the largest and most successful.'' His success has made him one of the richest Americans, with a fortune -- including family holdings -- that he estimates at $1 billion. An extraordinarily charming and high-spirited man, masterful at cultivating institutional lenders and luring wealthy partners, Crow has left his mark on dozens of skylines in the U.S. and ten foreign countries. Born in Dallas, the son of a bookkeeper, he studied accounting at night school while working as a bank runner, then took a job as an auditor with Ernst & Ernst. During World War II he audited defense contracts while serving as a commander in the Navy, and after the war he ran the Doggett Grain Co., a wholesale operation in Dallas that belonged to his wife's family. Concluding that the company had ''had its day,'' he began winding it down while looking for better opportunities. Ray-O-Vac, the battery manufacturer, leased space in Doggett's warehouse. When it decided to move to larger quarters, Crow, then 34, put together his first real estate scheme. Using loans from an insurance company and a local bank, he built a warehouse on land bought from the Stemmons brothers of Dallas and leased half the building to Ray-O-Vac. The venture succeeded, and Crow built ''another and another and another -- as prosaic as that sounds.'' At first he was careful to line up lessees before he built, but within a year he was building warehouses on speculation. Later he would use a related technique with his multioccupancy projects, leasing them in his own name at the start so he could get loans from institutions skittish about financing unleased buildings. His modus operandi was unique and potentially perilous, but it worked well in practice, primarily because Crow thoroughly scrutinized his markets before each project. ''Everything in life is a risk,'' he observes phlegmatically, ''or if it's without risk it's probably without profit.'' By the early Fifties he had branched beyond Dallas into Atlanta and Denver. He was still operating pretty much out of his hip pocket, his only employees a bookkeeper and secretary, but he hit the big time during the mid-Fifties when he and the Stemmons brothers built the Dallas Homefurnishings Mart, a 434,000- square-foot structure devoted to wholesale furniture showrooms. His inspiration had been Joe Kennedy's Merchandise Mart in Chicago. ''I was gripped by the Merchandise Mart, gripped by what it did for its exhibitors and for its retail attendees.'' Trade marts became Crow's trademark: He built them in Atlanta and Brussels, and his crowning achievement was expanding the Homefurnishings Mart into the Dallas Market Center, featuring two hotels and six other buildings containing eight million square feet of permanent exhibition space. In the early Sixties, with architect-developer John Portman, he built % Atlanta's Peachtree Center and started another pattern. Crow became the leading developer of major mixed-use projects in urban centers, frequently converting slums to showcases. Prime examples include the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, built partly with financing from David Rockefeller, and the Allen Center in Houston. ''We have three words in our company that we use to describe our function,'' Crow says. ''The words are: To do good. That means good buildings, good support for our lessees, good civics, good morals, and having a good time.''

JACK C. MASSEY (b. 1904)

ONE OF THE smartest, most successful venture capitalists of modern times, Jack Carroll Massey placed three companies on the New York Stock Exchange -- the only person ever to accomplish this. His most visible success was Kentucky Fried Chicken. It is already a part of American legend how he paid Colonel Harland Sanders a piddling $2 million for the company in 1964, took it public, turned it into a fast-food colossus, and sold it to Heublein in 1971 for $239 million. (The company has since become part of Donald Kendall's PepsiCo.) In 1968, while still serving as chairman of Kentucky Fried, Massey and his physician, Thomas F. Frist, and Frist's son founded Hospital Corp. of America, today the largest chain of for-profit hospitals with annual revenues of $5 billion and profits around $175 million. His third Big Board company, Winners Corp., another restaurant chain, produces revenues exceeding $100 million, though it has lately been struggling. Massey is no stranger to struggle. His father, a country lawyer from Georgia, died when Jack was 4, and his mother had to scramble to raise her three children. Massey left home at 17, became a pharmacist, and at 25 bought a drugstore in Nashville. He not only kept the shop alive in the depths of the Depression, but also expanded it into a five-store chain. In 1935 Massey sold the drugstores and became a wholesale purveyor of surgical supplies to hospitals and physicians. He worked 14 to 16 hours a day, every day, and prospered. Massey sold out to a subsidiary of the Brunswick Corp. in 1961 for $1,175,000 of Brunswick stock and, in his mid-50s, retired to Florida. Boredom took him off the beach a few weeks later. ''I went back to Nashville,'' he says, ''and started looking for a business to buy.'' A friend in Louisville introduced him to the eccentric Colonel Sanders, already past 70, who took a shine to Massey and asked him to run Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp. for a generous $100,000 salary and half the profits. Massey refused but offered to find someone to buy the company from the Colonel. ''I want you to buy it,'' the Colonel insisted and opened a drawer, consulting a horoscope to confirm his judgment. Massey bought it and in league with his right-hand man, John Y. Brown Jr. (later governor of Kentucky), built it into a national institution. His next triumph, Hospital Corp. of America, was ''a tough business at the beginning,'' Massey recalls. Buying and building hospitals required ''tons'' of capital, and the company kept meeting resistance from people in government who couldn't stomach the idea of profit-making hospitals. ''It was OK for M.D.s, druggists, and drug manufacturers to make money, but not for us,'' Massey comments bitterly. ''We became successful by doing things more efficiently than others did.'' Winners Corp., Massey's record-breaking third entry on the Big Board, had been a leasing company called Volunteer Capital before he took it into the restaurant business 12 years ago. Massey transformed it into a leading franchisee of the Wendy's restaurant chain as well as the franchiser for a chain of 170 Victorian-style fast-food restaurants called Mrs. Winner's Chicken & Biscuits (named after no one in particular). Massey has taken more than a dozen companies public and has provided major financing for more than 30 that remain privately held. He still gets a gleam in his eye when he gazes in the general direction of the New York Stock Exchange. The favorite candidate in his stable for Entry No. 4 on the Big Board is American Retirement Corp., a privately held, Nashville-based firm that owns or manages 16 retirement homes equipped with nursing facilities.

HARVEY S. FIRESTONE (1868-1938)

A GREAT SALESMAN and promoter, Harvey Samuel Firestone demonstrated uncanny ability to evaluate and exploit the technology of his time. He built one of the great corporations of the 20th century (1986 revenues: $3.5 billion) and amassed a mighty fortune. The son of an Ohio farmer, Firestone studied briefly at a business college in Cleveland, worked as a bookkeeper, and had a fling selling patent medicines and ''flavoring extracts'' before joining his uncle's buggy company as a salesman in 1890. The company went bankrupt in 1896, but Firestone gleaned a valuable insight: Rubber tires were sure to replace the bumpier iron-banded wheels. He got a friend to back him in a retail tire venture in Chicago, sold his stake at a tremendous profit after a few years, and moved to Akron, already the rubber capital of the world, where in 1900 he started Firestone Tire & Rubber. His big break came in 1905, when his company developed a tire that caught the fancy of an acquaintance named Henry Ford, who installed it on his runabouts. Fueled by cash from the booming Ford Motor Co., Firestone became America's most innovative rubber company, producing the first dismountable rim (permitting easy tire changes), the first balloon tire, the first low- pressure truck tire, and the first rayon-cord tire. To encourage car travel Firestone pioneered one-stop service stations offering gas, oil, and, of course, his tires. Short, slender, and scrappy, he argued that the U.S. relied too heavily on high-priced rubber from the British cartel in the Far East. So he proceeded to develop 1,500 square miles of his own plantations in Liberia in 1924. They turned out to be a valuable source of supply for the Allies during World War II.

GEORGE S. HALAS (1895-1983)

GEORGE STANLEY HALAS was the father of professional football, the man most responsible for building the National Football League into a billion-dollar business. He was also a shrewd businessman away from the gridiron who made a tidy fortune in oil and real estate. He helped organize and direct the legendary 1920 meeting at a Hupmobile showroom in Canton, Ohio, where the NFL was started with 11 charter members, including Halas's own Chicago Bears. He played end with the Bears for ten years, coached them for 40, and ran them until he died.

Although never president of the NFL, ''Papa Bear'' Halas was its de facto leader for decades. Most Americans ignored the pros at first, continuing to focus on college games. When introduced to ''Mr. Halas of the Chicago Bears,'' President Coolidge said, ''I always enjoy animal acts.'' In the beginning, Halas sold tickets on the street, and even after the Bears became consistently successful, this tough, irascible man kept a tight grip on finances. ''He tosses nickels around like manhole covers,'' grumbled Mike Ditka, then a Chicago player and now the coach. Halas insisted that teams share their home- park proceeds, lest the quality of competition -- and ultimately the entire league -- suffer. He also helped establish the player draft, in which teams with the worst records get first crack at the best players coming out of college. Halas was quick to exploit television, putting Chicago games on a local station as early as 1947. In 1960 he persuaded his NFL brethren to maximize their leverage with the networks by pooling their TV contracts. Halas also talked his fellow owners into the 1966 merger between the NFL and the American Football League, a deal that greatly profited all involved.

IGOR I. SIKORSKY (1889-1972)

AN INGENIOUS inventor and skilled industrialist, Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky contributed as much as anyone to the advancement of the aircraft industry. He is justly renowned as the developer of the first practical single-rotor helicopter, but pioneered a broad range of other aircraft as well. ''There is no such thing as the technically impossible,'' he liked to say, and he came close to proving it. Sikorsky was soft-spoken and elaborately courteous, scholarly with a special interest in religion, but in the blue he was a daredevil who walked wings, insisted on serving as his own test pilot, and survived many crashes. A native of Russia, he studied mechanical engineering at the Polytechnic Institute in Kiev, dropping out to build planes. Several set world records for speed and distance. Fiercely anti-Bolshevik and fearing for his life, Sikorsky fled Russia after the revolution. In the U.S. he persuaded 12 other Russian emigres to pledge $100 each to help him found the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corp., which thrived. In 1929 he merged his company into United Aircraft (now United Technologies) while remaining in charge of the operation. At United he produced the giant Clipper flying boats that Pan American Airways used to establish transoceanic service. As a child Sikorsky had been fascinated by Leonardo da Vinci's conceptual sketches of a helicopter-like flying machine. Engineering experts considered the technical difficulties insurmountable, but in 1939 he emerged with a working model -- surviving two or three crashes in the process -- and United started full production in 1942. The armed forces used his helicopters for rescue missions in World War II and Korea, and choppers became fighting machines in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

BOX: ROSTER OF PAST LAUREATES

WILLIAM MCPHERSON ALLEN ROBERT O. ANDERSON

LEO HENDRIK BAEKELAND WILLIAM MILFRED BATTEN STEPHEN DAVISON BECHTEL SR. ARNOLD ORVILLE BECKMAN OLIVE ANN BEECH WILLIAM BLACKIE WILLIAM EDWARD BOEING

ANDREW CARNEGIE WILLIS HAVILAND CARRIER FREDERICK COOLIDGE CRAWFORD HARRY BLAIR CUNNINGHAM

ARTHUR VINING DAVIS JOHN DEERE WALTER ELIAS DISNEY GEORGES FREDERIC DORIOT DONALD WILLS DOUGLAS PIERRE SAMUEL DU PONT

GEORGE EASTMAN THOMAS ALVA EDISON

HENRY MORRISON FLAGLER HENRY FORD BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

ROSWELL GARST AMADEO PETER GIANNINI FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE GRAHAM

WALTER ABRAHAM HAAS JOYCE CLYDE HALL EDWARD HENRY HARRIMAN HENRY JOHN HEINZ JAMES JEROME HILL CONRAD NICHOLSON HILTON

EDWARD CROSBY JOHNSON II REGINALD HAROLD JONES JOHN ERIK JONSSON

HENRY JOHN KAISER CHARLES FRANKLIN KETTERING LESLIE BERNARD KILGORE ROBERT JUSTUS KLEBERG SR. RAYMOND ALBERT KROC

ALDEN JAMES LABORDE EDWIN HERBERT LAND WILLIAM FREDERICK LAPORTE ALBERT DAVIS LASKER ROYAL LITTLE FRANCIS CABOT LOWELL HENRY ROBINSON LUCE

IAN KINLOCH MACGREGOR JOHN JAY MCCLOY CYRUS HALL MCCORMICK MALCOM PURCELL MCLEAN FORREST MARS GEORGE JACOB MECHERLE ANDREW WILLIAM MELLON CHARLES EDWARD MERRILL JOSEPH IRWIN MILLER GEORGE STEVENS MOORE JOHN PIERPONT MORGAN HOWARD JOSEPH MORGENS

ADOLPH SIMON OCHS DAVID MACKENZIE OGILVY

WILLIAM SAMUEL PALEY JOHN HENRY PATTERSON WILLIAM ALLAN PATTERSON JAMES CASH PENNEY ABE PLOUGH WILLIAM COOPER PROCTER

SIMON RAMO MONROE JACKSON RATHBONEDONALD THOMAS REGAN JOHN DAVISON ROCKEFELLER JAMES WILSON ROUSE

DAVID SARNOFF JACOB HENRY SCHIFF CHARLES MICHAEL SCHWAB ALFRED PRITCHARD SLOAN JR. CYRUS ROWLETT SMITH CHARLES CLINTON SPAULDING ALEXANDER TURNEY STEWART JOHN ELDRED SWEARINGEN JR.

JOHN EDGAR THOMSON

THEODORE NEWTON VAIL CORNELIUS VANDERBILT

DEWITT WALLACE LILA ACHESON WALLACE GEORGE WASHINGTON THOMAS JOHN WATSON JR. GEORGE WESTINGHOUSE FREDERICK KING WEYERHAEUSER ELI WHITNEY CHARLES KEMMONS WILSON JOSEPH CHAMBERLAIN WILSON ROBERT ELKINGTON WOOD ROBERT WINSHIP WOODRUFF

OWEN D YOUNG