John Donald MacArthur

[488] Father: William Telfer McArthur
Mother: Georgina Welstead

Family 1 : Louise Ingals
  1.  John Roderick MacArthur
  2.  Virginia MacArthur
Family 2 : Catherine T. Hyland


[488] John was one of the three wealthiest men in America at the time of his
death, and was sole owner
of the nation's largest privately held insurance company.

One of seven children, Mr. MacArthur was born in an impoverished
coal-producing area of eastern Pennsylvania. His three brothers who
survived childhood all achieved success in their fields: Alfred in
insurance, Telfer in publishing, and Charles as a newsman, playwright,
and Hollywood screen writer. John held several jobs, including stints as
a newspaper reporter, as an insurance salesman in his brother's company,
and in three unsuccessful business ventures, before turning to insurance
as his life's work.

In 1928, at the age of 30, Mr. MacArthur bought the Marquette Life
Insurance Company, and in 1935, he borrowed $2,500 to acquire the
financially impaired Bankers Life and Casualty Company of Chicago. Five
years later, Bankers had more than $1 million of assets; by 1977, they
had surpassed $1 billion. At his death, Mr. MacArthur's insurance
companies had more than 3 million policyholders, with $5.5 billion of
insurance in force, and a sales staff of more than 5,000 agents and

In the 1960's, Mr. MacArthur's attention turned to real estate and
development. He conducted his business at a table in the coffee shop of
the Colonnades Beach Hotel, in Palm Beach Shores, Florida. He owned the
hotel, and he and his wife lived in a modest apartment overlooking a
parking lot.

At one time or another, Mr. MacArthur's holdings included 100,000 acres
of land in Florida, primarily in the Palm Beach and Sarasota areas;
several development companies and shopping centers; paper and pulp
companies; 19 commercial, office, and apartment buildings in New York
City; several publishing enterprises; hotels; radio and television
stations; banks and 12 insurance companies.

HTML created by GED2HTML v3.6-WIN95 (Jan 18 2000) on 05/21/00 10:59:05 AM South Africa Standard Time.