I will start the A. G. Becker story with two postings which provide
a broad survey of the firm's first 32 years of operation -- from
the year of our founding in 1893, to the year of A. G. Becker's
death in 1925. Links to these postings appear at the end of this
The first link takes the reader to excerpts from an internal
publication prepared in 1973 by the firm's Communications Department,
as part of our 80th birthday celebration. The "A. G. Becker
Album" was enthusiastically received throughout the organization.
It reminded each of us of our great inheritance, as well as the
extent to which the organization had grown in 80 years.
The content of these "AGB 80" excerpts was drawn from
various archival sources including a speech given by Howell Murray
in the late 1950s, just a few years before his death. These excerpts
comprise the second posting.
I know you will enjoy the delightful "folksy" tone
of Howie Murray's memories. This speech must have been delivered
internally to an employee group in 1956-58, perhaps to a new class
of sales trainees. I have excerpted -- and lightly edited for
better readability -- the parts of Howie's speech which relate
to this early period of Becker history.
As noted, Howie joined the firm in 1915, knew Mr. Becker personally,
and worked especially for and with him in the firm's commercial
paper business for 10 years before his death. Howie idolized Mr.
Becker, as did everyone else who knew him.
I quite well remember Howell Murray. Having joined the firm in
the fall of 1958, I must have just missed hearing his speech.
He was a rather jovial, beaming, enthusiastic, and much loved
elder in the Chicago office. He was the general overseer of our
commercial paper business, investment banker, quite active in
the Chicago and Midwest business communities, and widely admired.
He was especially remembered for his service to the Ravinia Association.
More about Howie will be posted later.
The broad sweep of these two postings provides an excellent framework
for future, more detailed postings of documents, photos, and other
material. In that process, some small inaccuracies in the Album
and Murray reviews will come to light and be corrected. However,
these summaries provide an excellent overview of the firm's early
roots and culture. They also illustrate how, quite early, the
firm was dedicated to certain basic ethical principles, and to
building an organization filled with exceptional people, developing
and expanding organizational leadership, and steadily pursuing
A. G. Becker Album (PDF 2
Howell Murray speech
Posted: December 27, 2006