Sidney E. Frank
(October 2, 1919 – January 10, 2006) was businessman who became a wealthy billionaire through his promotion of Grey Goose Vodka and Jägermeister. Frank was born in Montville, Connecticut, to a Jewish family. His father and mother were Abraham and Sarah Frank. He grew up in Norwich, Connecticut and graduated from the Norwich Free Academyin 1937.
He attended Brown University in 1942 but left because he could only afford one year of tuition. He later made large gifts to the university to ensure that no student would ever have to leave Brown because of inability to pay tuition. Brown University named its new Life Sciences building (its largest capital project up to date) after Sidney Frank, the single most generous donor in the University's history.
During World War II, Frank worked for Pratt and Whitney as an aircraft engine mechanic in the South Pacific. Frank's first wife, Louise Rosenstiel, was the daughter of Lewis Rosenstiel, founder of Schenley Industries, one of the largest American distiller and spirit importers. Frank joined Schenley after his marriage and rose to the company presidency, but was forced out in a family dispute in 1970.
In 1973 his wife died and he started his own company, Sidney Frank Importing Company, where he served as chairman and chief executive officer. The company is based in New Rochelle, New York where Frank lived part of the year (he had a home in Santa Fe, California as well).
Frank's first big success with his own company was with Jacques Cardin brandy, a brand he purchased from Seagram in 1979. In the 1980s, he obtained importing rights to Jagermiester and promoted it heavily, advertising it as the best drink in the world, turning a specialty brand into a mainstream success. In 1997, he introduced Grey Goose vodka, made in France, and was so successful in promoting it that he sold the brand...