My usual routine for Thursdays is to write about something automotive—something “techie.” This week, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to give a respectful nod to a humble man who is the epitome of the American “rags to riches” story. This man started out with nothing—not even parents. In the end, he was a successful businessman and the owner of one of the most desirable Ferraris in the world. This past weekend, his Ferrari 275 GTB/4 N.A.R.T. Spider went to the auction block. It sold for $27.5 million.
This is a story of hard work, a Ferrari, and unfettered kindness that has brightened the lives of thousands of people.
The Value of Hard Work
The name of this respected businessman is Eddie Smith. But before he was well known or successful, he was an orphaned 10-year old trying to get by with three siblings in an orphanage. For several years, Smith woke early each day and went to work tending farms. Upon gaining his freedom from the orphanage at age 18, he left for Lexington, North Carolina to build a better life.
In Lexington, Smith worked several odd jobs; cab driver, theater usher, before making his way to a small mail-order hosiery business. Faced with unemployment after the death of the owner, Smith and some friends decided to start their own hosiery business; National Wholesale Company.