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Henry J. Heinz
Heinz in 1917
Henry John Heinz
October 11, 1844
Birmingham, Pennsylvania, United States
|Died||May 14, 1919 (aged 74)|
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
|Resting place||Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh|
|Title||Founder of Heinz Foods|
Sarah Sloan Young Heinz
(m. 1869; died 1894)
Henry John Heinz (October 11, 1844 – May 14, 1919) was a German-American entrepreneur who founded the H. J. Heinz Company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was born in that city, the son of German immigrants from the Palatinate who came independently to the United States in the early 1840s. Heinz developed his business into a national company which made more than 60 food products; one of its first was tomato ketchup. He was influential for introducing high sanitary standards for food manufacturing. He also exercised a paternal relationship with his workers, providing health benefits, recreation facilities, and cultural amenities. His descendants carried on the business until fairly recently, selling their remaining holdings to the predecessor company of what is now Kraft Heinz. Heinz was the great-grandfather of former U.S. Senator H. John Heinz III of Pennsylvania.
Henry John Heinz was born in Pittsburgh on October 11, 1844, the son of German immigrants John Henry Heinz (1811–1891), of Kallstadt, Palatinate, Kingdom of Bavaria, and Anna Margaretha Schmidt (1822–1899), of Kruspis, Haunetal, Hesse-Kassel. His father immigrated to the United States at age 29 in 1840, his mother at age 21 in 1843. They were married December 4, 1843, in Birmingham, Pennsylvania, on the south side of Pittsburgh, where they first met. Anna Schmidt was the daughter of a Lutheran minister; John Heinz was also Lutheran.
Through his father's family, Henry Heinz was a second cousin to Frederick Trump, who emigrated to the United States in 1885.[not in citation given] Trump was the immigrant ancestor and paternal grandfather of Donald Trump of New York City, the 45th President of the United States.
Henry John Heinz began packing foodstuffs on a small scale at Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1869. There he founded Heinz Noble & Company with a friend, L. Clarence Noble, and started marketing packaged horseradish. The company went bankrupt in 1875. The following year Heinz founded another company, F & J Heinz, with his brother John Heinz and a cousin Frederick Heinz. One of this company's first products was tomato ketchup.
The company continued to grow, and in 1888 Heinz bought out his other two partners and reorganized as the H. J. Heinz Company, the name carried to the present day. The company's slogan, "57 varieties," was introduced by Heinz in 1896; by then the company was selling more than 60 different products. Heinz said he chose "5" because it was his lucky number and the number "7" was his wife's lucky number.
H. J. Heinz Company was incorporated in 1905, and Heinz served as its first president, leading in the position for the rest of his life. Under his tutelage, the company was noted for fair treatment of workers and for pioneering safe and sanitary food preparation. He provided his employees with free medical care; recreation facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, and gardens; and educational opportunities such as libraries, free concerts, and lectures. Heinz led a successful lobbying effort in favor of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. During World War I, he worked with the Food Administration.
He was a director in many financial institutions, and was chairman of a committee to devise ways of protecting Pittsburgh from floods.
At the time of Heinz's death in Pittsburgh at the age of 74, the H. J. Heinz Company had more than 20 food processing plants, and owned seed farms and container factories. Heinz was the grandfather of H. J. Heinz II, the great-grandfather of U.S. Senator H. John Heinz III of Pennsylvania, and great-great grandfather of Henry John Heinz IV, André Thierstein Heinz and Christopher Drake Heinz. Another relative is Teresa Heinz-Kerry, widow of H. John Heinz III, who is married to ex-senator and former United States Secretary of State John Kerry.
They were raised as Presbyterians.
Heinz was a man of faith. When he visited England, his "tourist stops" included the graves of religious leaders John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, and John Wesley. He visited a chapel that Wesley founded, later writing that "I felt I was upon holy ground." At the beginning of his will Heinz wrote: "I desire to set forth, at the very beginning of this Will, as the most important item in it, a confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior."
Heinz died at his home May 14, 1919, after contracting pneumonia. His funeral was at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. He was buried at Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh, in the Heinz Family Mausoleum.