Robert J. Thorne

Deceased Person

Robert Julius Thorne (February 1875 – March 20, 1955) was an American businessman who was president of Montgomery Ward from 1917 to 1920. Robert Thorne was born in February 1875 in Chicago, Illinois, to George R. Thorne. The senior Thorne was a former major in the Civil War who co-founded Montgomery Ward with his brother-in-law, A. Montgomery Ward. He received a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1897. He was active in the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Robert Thorne joined Montgomery Ward's Kansas City, Missouri, branch immediately upon his graduation from Cornell. He rose to become branch manager, and then was transferred to Chicago where he was manager of the store's flagship store and a vice president of the company. In 1917, his older brother and Montgomery Ward president, William C. Thorne, died unexpectedly. Robert J. Thorne assumed the presidency of the company. Thorne married the former Katherine B. Sterrett. The couple had five daughters: Roberta, Katherine, Laura, Narcissa and Ellen Catherine. Thorne co-founded the Employers' Association of Chicago in 1902, and played a significant role in the 1905 Chicago Teamsters' strike. He was accused in mid-1905 of  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Known as
Robert Thorne
Date of birth


Institution From To
Cornell University


Date of death

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