Walmart, Ben & Jerry's, Halliburton ... who built those?

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: August 5, 2012
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YOU didn't bake that.

Born in 1941, she was 8 years old when her entrepreneur father, Charles Lubin, named a line of cheesecakes after her. Through hard work and long hours, the Chicago baker built a business that was bought out in 1956 by Consolidated Foods. It's now a diversified food and beverage concern based in Illinois and selling goods around the world. The daughter? Sara Lee Schupf (nee Lubin) started a foundation that benefits the arts, health care and hungry children through millions of dollars in grants.

You didn't frac that.

Hydraulic fracturing, a key element in the march toward U.S. energy independence, awakens the petroleum sleeping in shale deposits. Its commercial roots were in a late 1940s application in Oklahoma by a company founded as an oil well cementing business by a man with a borrowed wagon and a team of mules. What Erle P. Halliburton started in Duncan in 1919 now employs more than 70,000 people in 80 countries.

You didn't churn that.

Two buddies since junior high days used old-fashioned freezers for an ice cream parlor they opened in 1978 with a $4,000 loan and $8,000 in savings. Their fortunes almost melted before the business took off. In 1988, they were named Small Business Persons of the Year and later sold the firm to a multinational corporation. Ben & Jerry's ice cream is consumed worldwide.

You didn't sell that.

An Oklahoma native and his wife, Helen, staked 95 percent of the money needed to open a store in Rogers, Ark., in 1962. A decade later, the company went public and now has more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2 million people and serving 176 million customers a year. Sam Walton put his all into building a discount retail chain.


by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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