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John M. Olin

John Merrill Olin (November 10, 1892 - September 8, 1982) was an American businessman. He was the son of Franklin W. Olin.


Early life

Born in Alton, Illinois, Olin graduated from Cornell University with a B.Sc. degree in chemistry. With major financial contributions to the School of Business and the John M. Olin Library at Washington University in St. Louis, both buildings were named after him.

He married twice. By his first wife, the former Adele Levis, a granddaughter of the founder of Illinois Glass, whom he divorced, he had two daughters, Adele Louise and Georgene.

By his second wife, Evelyn Brown, he had one stepdaughter, Evelyn.


Olin started his career in 1913 as a chemical engineer for his father's Western Cartridge Company, a predecessor of Olin Industries, Inc. He became President of Olin Industries in 1944 and upon merger of the company with Mathieson Chemical Corporation in 1954 became Chairman of the Board of the new corporation, named Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation. Subsequently the name was shortened to Olin Corporation. Mr. Olin retired as Chairman of the Board in 1957 to become Chairman of the Executive Committee, a position he held until he was elected Honorary Chairman of the Board in 1963.

Olin was an inventor or co-inventor of 24 United States patents in the field of arms and ammunition manufacture and design and was responsible for numerous developments in ballistics.

Thoroughbred horse racing

John Olin bred and raced a number of Thoroughbred racehorses, notably winning the 1974 Kentucky Derby with the colt, Cannonade.

His granddaughter, Adele B. Dilschneider, is also a Thoroughbred owner and breeder whose memberships has included the Kentucky Derby Museum, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, the American Horse Council, the Thoroughbred Club of America, and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

See also

  • John M. Olin Foundation
  • John M. Olin Business School

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "John_M._Olin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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