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Carload Ritchie

The unbelievable birth of the pharmaceutical industry
Genres: Business & Money, History, Marketing

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When Harold “Carload” Ritchie died in 1933, Time magazine’s obituary noted that “he had good claim to the proud title of ‘World’s Greatest Salesman.’” He was one of the richest men in Canada, and owned the largest sales network in the world. Yet little is known about him.

He wasn’t part of the Canadian establishment, though the companies he came to own were more profitable than most of the country’s banks. He was born on Manitoulin Island, and in many ways, remaining on an island of his own making. Through Harold’s enigmatic life, we glimpse both the country in the first decades of the twentieth century, and the entertaining birth of the pharmaceutical industry.

Don Gillmor

Don Gillmor’s most recent book To the River won the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction. He is the author of a two-volume history of Canada, Canada: A People’s History, which won the Libris Award, and two other books of non-fiction, The Desire of Every Living Thing and I Swear by Apollo. He has written three critically acclaimed novels – Kanata,Mount Pleasant and Long Change – as well as nine books for children, two of which were nominated for a Governor General’s Award. He has won twelve National Magazine Awards, including the Outstanding Achievement Award. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.

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