[PW] Ref Question: Wealthy Industrialist and Laborer Anecdote

Carroll, Megan megan.carroll at library.und.edu
Tue Mar 8 08:53:48 PST 2016

Anyone have any ideas as to the answer to this reference question:

"I am trying to find out who "the famous person" is of this scenario .....it has to do with philanthropy and how a generous gesture can have unknown and far-reaching positive repercussions.

We're thinking it happened at the end of the 1800s or beginning of the 1900s.  A laborer did a favor of some kind for a wealthy industrialist.  The wealthy industrialist wanted to pay the laborer for the favor, but the laborer would not accept any payment.  In lieu of payment, the industrialist said he would pay tuition for the child/children of the laborer so he/she/they could go to school/college.  He did and the child ended up being the person ...... who saved the world!  Or something like that.  Someone the caliber of Winston Churchill or Madam Curie or Jonas Salk....that's what we're trying to find out. "

So, who was "the famous person " who received the free education?

I've looked everywhere for this and haven't been able to find anything as of yet.

Any ideas?

Thank you!

Megan Keely Carroll, MLIS
Reference Librarian
University of North Dakota

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