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Kansas Innovators and Entrepreneurs - August 21, 2015

The Western Auto Building, also known as the Coca-Cola Building or the Candler Building, is located at 2107 Grand Boulevard, in the Crossroads neighborhood of Kansas City, Mo. The twelve-story building was built for the Coca-Cola Company in 1914 and later became the headquarters of the Western Auto Supply Company. (Flickr Photo by Matt Meier)

Q: Born in 1886 in Mound Valley, Kan., this man attended Parsons Business College and then started the Western Auto Supply Company with an initial investment of just five dollars. He also started a university in southern California that bears his name. What IS his name (first and last)?


George PepperdineA: George Pepperdine (who started Western Auto Supply Company AND founded Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.)
George Pepperdine was born on a farm in Mound Valley, Kan., on June 20, 1886. He graduated from Parsons Business College in Parsons, Kan. In 1909, he started the Western Auto Supply Company with an initial investment of just five dollars. With the rise in popularity of the automobile, his business thrived. (In fact, at one point, there were more than 6,000 Western Auto stores nationwide!) Pepperdine moved to California in 1916. A deeply religious man, he founded George Pepperdine College in Los Angeles during the Great Depression. Later, the school was moved to Malibu, where it is now known as Pepperdine University. George Pepperdine died in California in 1962.

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