Invented the mail-order business. He founded Montgomery Ward & Company in August 1872.
He went to work as a traveling salesman of dry goods. Noticing that many rural Midwesterns were being overcharged by local stores with little competition, he decided to serve them via a mail-order business.
His first inventory was destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire.
He was born into a large working-class family.
He was the Sam Walton of his time.