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Potter Palmer, 1826-1902

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1826.05.20
Place of Birth: Albany County, NY
Date of Death: 1902.05.04
Place of Death:


Potter Palmer was a Chicago businessman and collector. He married Berthe Palmer, née Honoré.


Palmer began his career as a shop clerk but quickly rose to prominence in the retail business. By 1852 he had opened his own dry goods shop. It was a success and his innovative approach to retailing - offering refunds and exchanges and other then novel services - enabled him to amass a great deal of wealth. He sold out his interest in the store in 1867 to his business partners Marshall Field and Levi Leiter. Thereafter he devoted himself to his extensive property interests; after the great fire of Chicago in 1871, he was responsible for redeveloping the downtown district and the Lake Shore Drive area of the city. Together with his wife, he also became a noted philanthopist.


Who Was Who in America, 1897-1942, vol. 1, Chicago, 1943; Encylopedia Britannica, on-line edition (accessed June 2004).