[PW] FedEx Anecdote (Quotation Query #748)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Tue Dec 12 22:11:49 PST 2017


Back in May 2016 Fred asked about a tale concerning Federal Express
(now FedEx) founder Frederick W. Smith. When he was an undergraduate
he supposedly wrote a paper proposing the creation of an overnight
delivery company. The professor evaluating the work was unimpressed
and gave him a C grade.

The Quote Investigator website now has an article on the topic:

I Don’t Know, Probably Made My Usual C
https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/12/12/fedex/

[Begin acknowledgment]
Great thanks to Fred R. Shapiro whose inquiry led QI to formulate this
question and perform this exploration. Special thanks to researchers
Peter Reitan and S. M. Colowick who identified valuable citations. In
addition, thanks to the contributors at Snopes and Wikipedia.
[End acknowledgment]

Feedback welcome
Garson O'Toole

On Sun, May 15, 2016 at 4:13 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Great work S. M. Colowick. Here are some more details about the
> "Esquire" article. The grade on the paper is mentioned twice. It
> appeared in a caption, and it appeared in the main body of the article
> which apparently stated: "Nevertheless, he gave Smith a passing grade,
> but a mediocre one — a C."
>
> Periodical: Esquire
> Date: August 15, 1978
> Article: Full Disclosure: Overnight Highflier
> Subtitle: After a Rocky Takeoff, Feisty Federal Express Looks Set For
> The Short Haul
> Author: Dan Dorfman


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