Fred Smith is considered the greatest entrepreneur in the world of logistics. In 1971 he had a revolutionary idea: deliver packages overnight. He created the Federal Express Corporation (FedEx) to offer an alternative to traditional, slow delivery services. He ended up completely revolutionizing the industry single-handedly. Read on to find out more about Fred Smith’s biography.
In the process, Smith’s company became the first American company to make $10 billion in profits. In 2004, FedEx delivered to 210 countries, using more than six hundred aircraft, 46,000 vehicles and 141,000 employees. At the root of the company’s success was Smith’s philosophy: People, Service, Profit (PSP).
|August 11, 1944
|Place of birth:
|Marks, Mississippi (United States)
Who is Fred Smith?
We highlight Frederick Wallace Smith among the biographies of businessmen. He was born on August 11, 1944 in Marks, Mississippi, United States.
Smith’s father, who was also named Fred Smith, was a self-made millionaire, owner of the Toddle House restaurant chain and the Smith Motor Coach Company, which later became part of the Greyhound Bus Lines company. He died when Fred Smith Jr. was four years old and Fred was raised by his mother in Memphis, Tennessee, where he attended Presbyterian Day School.
From the age of 4, Fred had to fight arthritis, until at the age of 10 he was able to overcome the disease and become a successful American football player, in addition to developing a strong passion for flying, being a good amateur pilot.
He studied at the University of Memphis, and earned a degree in economics from Yale University in 1962. While at Yale, Smith wrote a project outlining his idea of creating a company that would offer package delivery services from a day to day throughout the United States traveling at night. This was the idea that would later lead to success with FedEx.
After graduating from Yale in 1966, Smith entered the US Army Marine Corps. and attended flight school that led him to fight in the Vietnam War. With the rank of captain, Smith was honorably discharged in 1969. When he returned to the United States in 1970, Smith decided to develop his idea for the delivery services company that he had written about years before.
To do this, he bought a majority stake in Ark Aviation Sales, a company dedicated to aircraft maintenance and owned by his then father-in-law.
Over time, he expanded the company to buying and selling corporate aircraft, which was very successful, as the company’s annual revenue was around $9 million. He then raised $90 million from several venture capital investors and invested the $4 million she had inherited from his father to found the Federal Express Corporation, offering a 24-hour air and ground package delivery service. day.
At first, the company was not successful and lost a lot of money, mostly because Smith invested too much in advertising, but also because of rising fuel and gasoline prices, and was even on the verge of bankruptcy. So much so that Fed Smith had to resort to such unusual practices as going to Las Vegas and trying to make money playing in casinos to revive the company.
In 1976 the company recovered from its losses, its services expanded, and Federal Express began to make profits. It soon became a hugely growing company. Since then, the company has not stopped growing and improving its services. The advancement of Internet commerce and the extension and integration of the global economy greatly contributed to the improvement of the company.
With the success of FedEx, Fred Smith became one of the 400 richest people in the world and the leading businessman in the logistics market, with annual sales of more than $16 billion.
In his personal life, in 1969 Smith married Linda Black Grisham, with whom he had two children before divorcing in 1977. Since then, Smith has been married to Diane Avis, with whom he has eight children.
Fred Smith Net Worth
In addition to being the founder, president and CEO of FedEx and building a successful transportation company from scratch, Smith is also a co-owner of the Washington Redskins football team and several entertainment companies, including Dream Image Productions and Alcon Films. He has also served on the boards of directors of several large companies, is a member of the Aviation Hall of Fame, the Junior Achievement American Business Hall of Fame, and the Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame. SMEI Marketing, and has been awarded several awards.
His net worth is estimated at $6 billion (2022), ranking 170th on the Forbes 400 list, and 144th on the list of United States billionaires in 2015.