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. The colorful characters in this study are fascinating, if not always admirable. He later added more land and found himself heavily in debt. Zemurray was also widely known in Central America for his philantropic works. They loaded green bananas on trains bound for cities all across America. 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. 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 His success earned him the nickname "Sam the Banana Man." Sam The Banana Man. In 1910, he bought 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land along the Cuyamel River. 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. By age 21, he had banked $100,000. Both companies played highly controversial roles in the history of several … Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray was born Schmuel Zmurri in Bessarabia, Russia, in 1877 to a poor Jewish family. They threw the ripe bananas into the bay. He later bought a steamship and went to Honduras. A new book about Sam “The Banana man” Zemurray reminds us of the meaning of untrammelled capitalism. He came to … Today: Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray. The Banana Men is a study of modernization, its benefits, and its often frightful costs. Sam Zemurray. This gave Sam an idea. His success earned him the nickname “Sam the Banana Man.” By age twenty-one he had banked $100,000. Zemurray began life in Bessarabia and ended it as the de facto regent of South America. He later bought a steamship and went to Honduras. 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. The legacy: To paint a portrait of Sam Zemurray is to paint a portrait of the American dream. After 1932, this world, known as bananaland, was led by Samuel Zemurray, Sam the Banana Man, a huge, colorful Russian who started out selling … Rich Cohen is a superb storyteller. Photo Illustration Chris Silas Neal; Associated Press (Zemurray) By Rich Cohen. Five Lessons From the Banana Man ... Sam simply bought it from each owner. Sam "The Banana Man" Zemurray introduces the United States to the wonders of the banana and becomes the richest man in New Orleans. 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