Leo Goodwin, Sr.

Deceased Person

Leo Goodwin (1886–1971) is most noted for founding GEICO in 1936, with his wife Lillian Goodwin, while the Great Depression was still in full fury. Leo Goodwin Sr. was born in 1886 in Lowndes, Missouri, the son of a country doctor who traveled by horse and buggy to treat his patients. Educated as an accountant, Leo Goodwin Sr. entered the insurance business in San Antonio, Texas. As he became more experienced in the field, Goodwin came to the remarkable insight that the industry could better serve its customers and reduce costs by eliminating sales commissions to producers of premiums and dealing directly with policyholders. With this precedent-setting vision in mind, he founded the Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) in 1936. With his wife, Lillian, Mr. Goodwin worked 12 hours a day for little or no salary for several years to implement his business dream. In 1940, after operating in the red for several years, the company realized its first profit. In 1948, GEICO became publicly owned and today has assets of nearly $7.3 billion. He hammered out the basic business plan during his early career days in Texas. In 1936, Goodwin established GEICO operations in Washington,  ( Wikipedia article )


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