Log In

Henry Crown Edit Profile

Industrialist , philanthropist

Henry Crown was an American industrialist and philanthropist.


Crown, Henry was born on June 13, 1896 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Son of Arie and Ida (Gordon) Crown.


Student public schools, Chicago. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Syracuse University. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Barat College.

Doctor of Laws (honorary), DePaul University. Doctor of Laws (honorary), DePauw University. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Loras College.

Doctor of Laws (honorary), Brown University. Doctor of Engineering (honorary), Tri State College. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Jewish Theological Seminary America.

Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Northwestern University.


Among other things, he founded the Material Service Corporation, which merged with General Dynamics in 1959. At the time of his death, he was a billionaire. Henry Crown and Company, of which he is the namesake, is an investment firm that owns or has interests in a variety of business assets.

Early Years\r\nHis father changed the family name to Crown while Henry was a boy. Crown did not attend school past the eighth grade. Sol later died of tuberculosis.

Material Service Corporation\r\nIn its first year the company made a profit of $7,000 on sales of $218,000. MSC sold gravel, sand, lime, and coal to builders in the Chicago area. Crown gained a controlling interest in General Dynamics in 1959, when he merged the company with MSC. By this time, MSC was a $100 million company.

According to his own claim, Crown had given away "nine figures" in his philanthropic pursuits by the time he turned 79. His beneficiaries included the University of Chicago, Brandeis, Stanford, Northwestern and the St. Lawrence University student investment fund.


Member Chicago Civil Defense Corps. Trustee Chicago Boys' Clubs. Advisory member board trustees DePaul University.

Member University Illinois Citizens Committee, Loyola University Citizens Board, Northwestern University Associates. Fellow St. Joseph's College, Rensselaer, Indiana. Associate, fellow Brandeis University.

Honorary vice president Northeast Illinois council Boy Scouts American Served as colonel, C.E. Army of the United States, World World War World War II. Member Military Order World Wars. Clubs: Executives, Mid-Day, Standard, Tavern, Commercial (Chicago).

St. Louis; Tamarask (Palm Beach, Florida). Hillcrest Country (Los Angeles). Lodges: Masons (33d degree), Shriners.


Married Rebecca Kranz, August 12, 1920 (deceased October 1943). Children: Robert (deceased July 1969), Lester, John Jacob. Married Gladys Kay, March 1946.

Arie Crown

Ida (Gordon) Crown

Gladys Kay

Rebecca Kranz

John Jacob Crown

Lester Crown

Robert Crown (deceased July 1969)