In the banana belt of the Caribbean he was first known as "Sam, the Banana Man," and then later as "the fish that swallowed the whale." Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray was born Schmuel Zmurri in Bessarabia, Russia, in 1877 to a poor Jewish family. The colorful characters in this study are fascinating, if not always admirable. He came to … Five Lessons From the Banana Man ... Sam simply bought it from each owner. Rich Cohen is a superb storyteller. Samuel Zemurray (nicknamed "Sam the Banana Man"; born Schmuel Zmurri; January 18, 1877 – November 30, 1961) was a businessman who made his fortune in the banana trade. They loaded green bananas on trains bound for cities all across America. The icon: Sam Zemurray. A new book about Sam “The Banana man” Zemurray reminds us of the meaning of untrammelled capitalism. Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray introduces the United States to the wonders of the banana and becomes the richest man in New Orleans. Which, according to Kinzer, is where Sam first immersed himself into geopolitics: Like many other American businessmen in Central America, Zemurray considered his land a private fiefdom. “Sam ‘the Banana Man’ Zemurray was a larger-than-life character. He founded the Cuyamel Fruit Company, and later became head of the United Fruit Company, the world's most influential fruit company at the time. He later added more land and found himself heavily in debt. The Banana Men is a study of modernization, its benefits, and its often frightful costs. In 1910, he bought 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land along the Cuyamel River. The legacy: To paint a portrait of Sam Zemurray is to paint a portrait of the American dream. His success earned him the nickname "Sam the Banana Man." Zemurray began life in Bessarabia and ended it as the de facto regent of South America. His success earned him the nickname “Sam the Banana Man.” By age twenty-one he had banked $100,000. Today: Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray. At that time, shiploads of bananas arrived in Alabama. After 1932, this world, known as bananaland, was led by Samuel Zemurray, Sam the Banana Man, a huge, colorful Russian who started out selling … In the late 1800s, at age 15, Sam Zemurray immigrated from Russia to Selma, Alabama, where he saw his first banana. This gave Sam an idea. By age 21, he had banked $100,000. Sam "the Banana Man" Zemurray, a Bessarabian Jewish immigrant, made a fortune in Honduran bananas after he got into the business of "revolutin," and his exploits are now legendary. Zemurray was also widely known in Central America for his philantropic works. They emigrated to the United States when he was 14, where he began selling excess bananas from the ports in New Orleans to grocers along the railways lines so they could be sold inland before they were spoiled. Both companies played highly controversial roles in the history of several … Photo Illustration Chris Silas Neal; Associated Press (Zemurray) By Rich Cohen. Sam Zemurray. He later bought a steamship and went to Honduras. He later bought a steamship and went to Honduras. They threw the ripe bananas into the bay. Sam The Banana Man. Put them together and you have a startling and often hilarious account of one of the forgotten heroes (and villains) of the American empire.” —Zev Chafets

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